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SAIL: Surging Ahead
Newer avenues of growth and focus on its internal policies have helped SAIL strengthen its core
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Despite disruptive forces like the increase in average coal prices, higher usage of imported coal in the blend due to lower availability of indigenous coal, increase in average rate of purchased power and increase in interest and depreciation costs, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is on a roll as it achieved sales turnover of Rs 58,297 crore during the FY17-18, which is higher by 19 per cent over previous year. Slimming the losses by around 83 per cent, its profit after tax (PAT) on standalone basis improved to Rs (-) 482 crore in FY18 from Rs (-) 2,833 crore in FY17, the state-owned firm’s consolidated PAT stood at Rs (-) 281 crore for FY18 as against (-) Rs.2,756 crore in FY17.
The persistent strategic approach to improve operational profitability assisted SAIL to improve the ebitda in FY18 to Rs 5,184 crore, a substantial increase over FY17. The improvement in financial performance is backed by improved operational performance indicated by increase in saleable steel production, higher share of concast production, improved product mix, improvement in blast furnace productivity, reduction in coke rate and specific energy consumption, reduction in specific wage bill, etc.
It is to be mentioned that SAIL is the largest steel-making company in India and one of the seven Maharatnas of the country’s Central Public Sector Enterprises. SAIL produces iron and steel at five integrated plants and three special steel plants, located principally in the eastern and central regions of India and situated close to domestic sources of raw materials.
“The thrust to enhance domestic steel consumption is opening newer avenues of steel usage and raising the steel demand, including previously less explored market spaces like the rural and retail sectors,” Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary was quoted as saying in a recent press release. While emphasising on achieving the targets set, Chaudhary said in the current competitive scenario, timebound working is supreme. While applauding the marketing team of the company for putting up a joint effort in enhancing sales performance in the recent quarters, he said, “Riding on positive domestic steel consumption trend, SAIL will pay close attention in gauging industry and consumer trends to capture the consumption indications.”
SAIL operates and owns five integrated steel plants at Bhilai, Rourkela, Durgapur, Bokaro and Burnpur (Asansol) and three special steel plants at Salem, Durgapur and Bhadravathi. It also owns a Ferro Alloy plant at Chandrapur. As part of its global ambition, the company is undergoing a Rs 72,000 crore massive expansion and modernisation programme involving upgrading and building new facilities with emphasis on state-of-the-art green technology.
On the production front, SAIL’s last financial year witnessed several landmark achievements through ramping up of new facilities and surpassing all previous records in physical performance. The company achieved its highest ever production of hot metal of 15.983 MT (million tonnes), crude steel of 15.021 MT and saleable steel of 14.071 MT. It also clocked an all-time best performance of continuous cast (CC) steel production of 12.80 MT with a growth of 9 per cent over previous best of 11.77 MT, achieved in 2016-17.
Meanwhile, SAIL is also working towards a well-planned product reorientation under which the company is adding several market-driven, new and value added products to its basket. Under the company-wide turnaround programme ‘SAIL Uday’, initiated in 2016-17, a roadmap for improvement in the areas of raw materials, operations, sales & marketing, supply chain & logistics, personnel and HR has been developed and deployed. This programme has yielded positive results as evidenced by the performance during the year.