Cylinder maker Everest Kanto has announced a 114.24 per cent rise in net profit for the financial year ended March 31, 2007.

Commenting on EKC's financial performance, Mr. Prem Khurana, chairman and managing director said, $quot;We are well positioned to captilise on the growing CNG demand in the country. With CNG getting acceptance as an alternative fuel, fresh demand for CNG cylinders will come from the new cities where gas projects would commence over the next one to two years.$quot;

Profits hit at Rs 71.75 crore ($17.7m) compared to Rs 33.49 crore (£8.3m) in the corresponding period last year. For the financial year ended March 31, 2007, net sales grew by 80.49 percent to Rs 425.05 crore ($104.7m) compared to Rs 235.50 crore ($58m) for the year ended March 31, 2006. During the year, the company also experienced a big improvement in margins with net profit margin rising from 20 percent to 23 percent.

Meanwhile, the company reported a 29.11 percent rise in net profit at Rs26.30 crore ($6.5m) for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2007 compared to Rs 20.37 crore ($5m) in the corresponding period last year. Net sales grew by 19.54 percent to Rs 133.62 crore ($33m) compared to Rs 111.78 crore ($27.5) in the corresponding previous year.

Mr. Prem Khurana also added, $quot;OEM currently comprises of 20-25 percent of the volumes and this proportion is likely to increase further as the company plans to target volume growth and the expanded capacity to capitalise on this opportunity.$quot;