India’s JK Paper posts fall in Q2 profit on lower demand

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s JK Paper on Friday reported a drop in quarterly profit for the first time in 11 months, hurt by the lower demand for its coated paper and packaging board, and higher input costs.

The paper producer’s consolidated net profit after tax fell 6.8% to 3.02 billion rupees ($36.3 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Paper makers are experiencing subdued demand for photocopy and multipurpose papers, following a surge in the previous quarters when people started returning to offices after the pandemic.

Profit fell on lower sales realization of coated paper and packaging board, the company said, indicating lower prices.

Total expenses rose about 13% including a near 29% jump in input costs.

Consolidated net revenue from operations inched up 0.4% to 16.50 billion rupees.

“Of late, the demand of packaging board has started recovering and there has been some increase in selling price across all product segments,” Managing Director Harsh Pati Singhania said in a statement.

Last month, Andhra Paper reported a near 12% fall in September-quarter profit, while Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers and West Coast Paper Mills are due to report results on Nov. 10 and Nov. 9, respectively.

Shares of JK Paper closed 0.24% higher ahead of the results. The stock is down 6.5% this year.

($1 = 83.2466 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Dimpal Gulwani in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)