October 23, 2013 / 2:17 PM / 4 years ago

India's ACC, Ambuja Sept-qtr net profit falls, see slow demand

MUMBAI, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Indian cement makers ACC Ltd and Ambuja Cements Ltd said on Wednesday they expected no speedy revival in demand after posting drops in quarterly profit.

ACC and Ambuja are controlled by Switzerland’s Holcim Ltd , the world’s No.2 cement maker, which in July said it plans to restructure its Indian operations to cut costs.

The companies have been hit by a slowdown in home building and infrastructure projects in an economy which is growing at its slowest pace in a decade. That has combined with rising input and energy costs to put pressure on the profit margins of cement companies, including UltraTech Ltd and Ambuja.

“The outlook continues to remain challenging due to difficult macro-economic conditions and resultant subdued demand,” Ambuja, India’s third-largest cement maker, said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Ambuja posted a 45 percent fall in net profit to 1.66 billion rupees missing market estimates of 2.4 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales were down 7 percent at 20.05 billion rupees.

Net profit at ACC, India’s second-largest cement maker, halved to 1.21 billion rupees ($19.6 million) in the July-September quarter, missing estimates of 1.89 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It said it foresaw a “gradual but slow improvement in demand” as its net sales rose 3 percent to 25.1 billion rupees. ($1 = 61.6600 Indian rupees) (Editing by Patrick Lannin)

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