BOC India has completed the first quarter of the current fiscal year with a net profit after tax at Rs285m, which is more than twice the figure for the corresponding quarter last year.

While gross sales at Rs1188.4m for the quarter grew by six per cent over the period of the previous year, operating profit at Rs.148.5m was impacted by a planned shutdown of the 1290 tpd plant in April, resulting in a reduction of 13 per cent over corresponding quarter of the previous year.

However, net profit after tax has more than doubled for the quarter taking into account an extra ordinary earning of Rs. 242.9m arising from the sale of the company's immovable property at Tondiarpet, Chennai.

The first quarter witnessed the signing of a long-term contract to supply gases for an expansion programme underway at JSW Steel Limited at Bellary, Karnataka, southern India.

At the annual general meeting, Mr J N Sapru, chairman BOC India said: 'It gives me sense of satisfaction to share the results of a year of robust performance by your company, the turnover for the year 2005-06 was driven by strong performance across the lines of business.'