BOC India has more than doubled its profits before tax compared with the same quarter last year.

BOC says the results of Rs 170.4 million pre-tax profit for the quarter show excellent performance.

The company reported net sales of Rs 1021.4 million, a growth of 32 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year fuelled mainly by its project engineering business and good growth in ASU gas volumes and prices.

Profits have also been helped by lower interest costs of Rs 6.9 million for the quarter compared to Rs 13.3 million for the same quarter last year.

The results were announced at the company's annual general meeting, during which Mr JN Sapru, chairman of BOC India congratulated the management team and employees for their unfailing dedication and commitment towards the company.

He added: \\$quot;It has been an exciting year for BOC India, the company is clearly on the growth path and has recorded its highest ever turnover and operating profits before extraordinary items, during the financial year 2004-05.\\$quot;

After depreciation and interest but before extraordinary items, the company has delivered its highest ever operating profit of Rs 456 million, an increase of 125 per cent on last year. The turnover of the company grew by 22 per cent in this period from Rs 3472 million to Rs 4244 million.

During this period, the company has completed the reorganisation of its operations. The gases business side witnessed an eight per cent growth, with strong demand from the steel sector while the Project Engineering business posted a significant increase of 127% in turnover terms.

Generally, the pharmaceutical and automobile industries, particularly in the controlled atmosphere technology segment provided new opportunities for BOC India.

Two businesses have also grown in parallel with BOC's industrial gases activities - BOC Edwards which supplies gases, equipment and services to the global semiconductor industry and vacuum and pressure equipment for many industrial and scientific applications and Gist, a specialist logistics company which serves a number of major customers including Marks and Spencer.