India’s Jindal Stainless Q2 profit doubles on strong domestic demand

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s Jindal Stainless said on Thursday its second-quarter profit more than doubled, helped by robust domestic demand.

The company, India’s biggest stainless steel maker by volumes, said consolidated net profit for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to 7.74 billion rupees ($93.02 million) from 3.47 billion rupees a year earlier.

Revenue grew nearly 12% to 97.97 billion rupees.

Domestic sales were buoyed up by the government’s push for stainless steel in strategic sectors, Managing Director Abhyuday Jindal said in a statement.

The company also said sales in the auto segment had picked up ahead of the festive season when customers make big ticket purchases.

Jindal, which makes stainless steel products for sectors like transportation and construction, however, flagged concerns of Chinese imports increasing nearly 55% year-on-year.

“The unchecked inflow of subsidised and substandard foreign imports continued to distort the level playing field against Indian manufacturers, especially the micro, small & medium enterprises sector,” the company said.

Last month, India imposed an anti-dumping duty on some Chinese steel for five years after finished steel imports from China touched a five-year high from April to July.

Meanwhile, export volumes dipped from the previous quarter, pressured by challenging macroeconomic conditions, subdued global demand and pricing pressures, the company said.

Additionally, it said it is exploring selling, liquidating or divesting its unit in Indonesia, which is operating at a utilisation of 15% due to unfavourable market conditions.

Shares of Jindal Stainless closed 2.9% lower ahead of its results. The company has jumped nearly 89% so far this year, outperforming the metal index, which has risen 1.2%.

($1 = 83.2076 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)