ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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BATA INDIA-Loosing Foothold

SOUTHERN PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRIES CORPORATION (SPIC) has set its sight on expansion and further diversification. Its application for setting up a 900 TPD ammonia plant and a 1,500 TPD urea plant is under active consideration of the government of India. The company has decided to diversify into drugs and pharmaceuticals. Its application for the manufacture of 150 tonnes of 6 APA, the intermediate required for semisynthetic penicillins has been approved by the department of company affairs and a letter of intent is expected shortly. Application for industrial licence to manufacture 1,000 MU of penicillin, a basic raw material for production of a number of semisynthetic and penicillin antibiotics and cephalosporins has been submitted to the government. In order to adapt imported technology to local conditions and to develop improved The Week's Companies technology needed for bulk drug manufacture, the company is setting up a modern R and D Centre, including pilot plant facilities at Maraimalainagar, Madras. The Centre is expected to be operational during 1987-88. The company proposes to take over by merger the assets and liabilities of Southern Agrifurane Industries. Aluminium fluoride and DAP-1 retrofitting projects are progressing on schedule and are likely to be commissioned during 1987. The prestigious linear alkyl benzene project of Tamil Nadu Petroproducts is also progressing as per schedule. The company is expected to commence commercial production in the last quarter of 1987. SPIC Electronics and Systems has obtained approval of the central government for the manufacture of 370 MRM computer tapes and 2 million diskettes per annum. Transfer of technology has been tied up with Computer Resources of the US, Besides, the company is planning to instal an IC packaging unit of a capacity of around 25 million ICs per annum. The unit is ex- (Rs Lakh) pected to come on stream in the last quarter of 1987, Meanwhile, SPIC suffered a severe setback in its financial performance for 1986 on account of adverse marketing environment under which all fertiliser units in the country had to operate. Both urea and DAP plants got well past 100 per cent capacity utilisation mark again. Sales amounted to Rs 414 crore against Rs 553 crore in the previous year and gross profit dropped to a third from Rs 50.22 crore to Rs 16.45 crore. Net profit is only Rs 4.S9 crore (Rs 39.01 crore). Equity dividend has been reduced from 20 per cent to 15 per cent on the capital enlarged by a bonus issue. A small portion of the enhanced quantum of distribution is short earned, whereas last year's pay-out had a hefty earnings cover of 11.44 times. The shipping operations of the company gained strength with the acquisition of a sophisticated chemical carrier 'Spice Emerald' at a cost of about Rs 23 crore. The ship has enhanced the freight earnings of the company by way of back-haul cargo from Persian Gulf to Europe. 'Spie Pearl' was also converted to a chemical carrier for the same advantage. The total freight earnings during the year amounted to Rs 9.66 crore. Overall results of the shipping division have been encouraging.

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