BOC India Limited has announced its un-audited financial results for the third quarter ending 30th September 2008, revealing strongly improved gross turnover and stable demand across all business segments.

The results were approved by the company’s Board of Directors at a meeting held last week, while at the same meeting the Board also appointed Srikumar Menon, the company’s finance director, as its new Managing Director for a three-year term.

Menon became finance director of the company in 2001 and has been the acting managing director (MD) of the company for the past six months, since the resignation of the previous MD.

In terms of its financial muscle, the company reported a gross turnover of Rs 142.37 crore for the quarter ending 30th September 2008 - registering an increase of around 33% over the turnover of Rs.107.25 crore achieved in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Continuous improvements
Turnover of the gases & related products segment increased by about 26% from Rs 88.63 crore to Rs 111.27 crore, including gains amounting to Rs 8.99 crore from the accounting treatment of financial leases as per Accounting Standard 19.

The gases business has been showing continuous improvements quarter on quarter, on the back of stable demand from the tonnage, bulk, merchant and medical customers, which include electronic gases in the sunrise solar photovoltaic business.

Third party billings of the Project Engineering Division during the quarter under review also rose significantly, over three times from Rs 10.25 crore to Rs 33.90 crore due to higher billings by the division in its turnkey projects in refinery and steel sectors.

Such an increase is despite the division’s extensive engagement with in-house projects, notably the 1800 tonnes per day (tpd) air separation unit at JSW Steel works at Bellary, where the inter segment revenue during the quarter was Rs 76.12 crore.

The company’s first investment in JSW Steel at Bellary, which was subsequently transferred to a joint venture company (Bellary Oxygen), has also been performing well, with the joint venture company declaring a maiden dividend of 10% for the year ending 31st March 2008.

Net profits for the Linde-owned BOC India for the quarter reached 21.87 crore, significantly increasing from Rs 7.08 crore.

Pressures
The company continues to pursue large tonnage opportunities in the steel and refinery industries and sunrise sectors such as electronic gases and hydrogen, while it is believed to be in a strong position to secure some of these opportunities.

Inflationary trends in the economy with resultant increases in fixed costs and other overheads have continued to exert pressure on the company’s business and margins. As a result, increases in some of costs have been incurred, especially employees costs, travel and other overheads.

Commenting on the financial results, newly appointed BOC India MD Menon said, “Both segments of our business have performed exceedingly well in spite of inflationary pressures on the business. We are continuing our focus on enhancing returns on capital employed coupled with a concerted drive towards containment of costs thereby transforming the company into a leading organisation.”