Steel Authority of India posts Q1 profit fall as expenses outpace revenue growth

BENGALURU (Reuters) – State-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) on Thursday reported an 81% slump in first-quarter profit as expenses grew faster than revenue.

The company’s net profit was 1.50 billion rupees ($18.2 million) for the quarter ended June 30, compared with 7.76 billion rupees a year earlier.

Subdued demand from China, the world’s top steel consumer, remained a drag on global steel prices while the availability of cheap imports and an inventory pile-up compounded the price concerns in the domestic market, per analysts.

Total expenses rose 5.6%, while revenue from operations barely rose 1.4% to 243.58 billion rupees.

Last month, rival Tata Steel reported a slump in profit hurt by lower prices, while others like JSW Steel and Jindal Stainless saw their profit rise on higher sales.

SAIL’s shares ended flat ahead of results after rising 3.4% in April-June.

($1 = 82.5890 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Biplob Kumar Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)