November 12, 2013 / 9:07 AM / 5 years ago

India's Hindalco posts smaller-than-expected profit on weak prices

NEW DELHI, Nov 12 (Reuters) - India’s Hindalco Industries Ltd, an aluminium and copper producer being investigated for a coal block jointly allocated to it, reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit as prices fell due to production outpacing demand.

Three-month aluminium prices on the London Metal Exchange averaged 5 percent lower in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, while copper prices averaged about 8 percent lower.

“The long spell of subdued LME has adversely affected the global aluminium industry and its margins and production levels significantly,” Hindalco, which is India’s No. 2 aluminium and copper producer, said in a statement.

Second-quarter net profit fell marginally to 3.57 billion rupees ($56.4 million) from 3.59 billion rupees a year earlier. Revenue rose 2 percent to 63.05 billion rupees.

Analysts were expecting a profit of 3.83 billion rupees on revenue of 67.64 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Hindalco unit Novelis Corp, the world’s top maker of rolled aluminium sheets, said on Monday net income for the April-September period sank 74 percent due to overcapacity in the North American beverage can market.

Hindalco and its chairman, billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, are under the scrutiny of India’s federal police as part of a probe to find out if there were irregularities in awarding coal blocks to various companies over the past two decades. The company has denied any wrongdoing.

The company’s shares, which have lost a fifth of their value this year, fell slightly after the results. They were up more than 2 percent earlier on Tuesday. ($1 = 63.2750 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Krishna N Das; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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