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Analysis on Cement Industry and Ultratech Cement

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    The Indian cement industry is on a roll. Driven by a booming housing sector, global demand and increased activity in infrastructure development such as state and national highways, the cement industry has outpaced itself, ramping up production capacity, attracting the top cement companies in the world, and sparking off a spate of mergers and acquisitions to spur growth. The recent boom in the housing and construction industry in India has worked wonders for cement manufacturing companies with capacity utilization crossing the 100 per cent mark for the first time in January 2007.

    Globally, India is the second largest producer of cement. Cement production grew at the rate of 9. per cent during 2006-07 over the previous fiscals’ total production of 147. 8 mt. Of this, 9. 3 million tone of cement was exported. The Indian cement industry comprises 130 large cement plants and 365 mini-cement plants, with installed capacities of 165 million tones per annum (tap). Large cement plants accounted for over 94 per cent of the total installed capacity. The booming demand for cement, both in India and abroad, have attracted global majors to India. In 2005-06, four of the top-5 cement companies in the world entered India through mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures or Greenfield projects.

    These include France’s Lafarge, Holcim from Switzerland, Italy’s Italcementi and Germany’s Heidelberg Cements. Despite the growth of the Indian cement industry, India’s per capita production of 115 kilograms per year lags the world average of over 250 kilograms and China’s production of more than 450 kilograms per year. Clearly there remains room for growth in the industry in India. This Project is an Analysis on Indian Cement Industry and Ultra Tech Cement.


    The Indian cement industry with a total capacity of about 200 m tonnes (MT) in FY09 is the second largest market after China. The key drivers for cement demand are real estate sector, infrastructure projects and industrial expansion projects. Among these, real estate sector is the main key driver and accounted for almost 55% in FY 07. A few of the leading manufacturers are the UltraTech/Grasim combine, Dalmia Cements, India Cements, and Holcim etc. With the boost given by the government to various infrastructure projects, road networks and housing facilities, growth in the cement consumption is anticipated in the coming years.

    According to Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, cement production could rise to 236. 6 MT in FY11 and touch 262. 61 MT in FY12. With almost total capacity utilization levels in the industry, cement dispatches have maintained a 10 per cent growth rate. Total dispatches grew to 170 MT during 2007–08 as against 155 MT in 2006–07. Moreover, cement dispatches were 15. 95 MT in July 2009, showing a growth of 9. 92 per cent as compared to 14. 51 MT in July 2008. During July 2009, cement production was 16. 23 MT, registering a growth of 10. 63 per cent as compared to 14. 67 MT in July 2008.

    Between April to July 2009, cement production totaled 66. 38 MT while cement dispatches totaled 65. 0 MT. Despite the fact that the Indian cement industry has clocked production of more than 100 MT for the last five years, registering a growth of nearly 9% to 10%, the per capita consumption of around 134 kgs compares poorly with the world average of over 263 kgs, and more than 950 kgs in China. This, more than anything, underlines the tremendous scope for growth in the Indian cement industry in the long term. Given the high potential for growth, quite a few foreign transnational have been eyeing the Indian markets and are planning to acquire domestic companies.

    Already, while companies like Lafarge, Heidelberg and Italicementi have made a couple of acquisitions, Holcim has acquired stake in domestic companies Ambuja Cements and ACC and has increased its stake gradually to gain full control. After acquiring stake in big companies, transnationals eyed median capacity producers. Italcementi acquired 100% stake in Zuari Cement and 95% stake in Shree Vishnu. Cimpor, the Portugese cement manufacturer, acquired Grasims stake (53. 63%) in Shree Dig Vijay. The global players put together account of quarter share of the domestic market


    ACC, the country’s largest cement maker had a dispatch growth rate of 4. 5 per cent in April whereas Ambuja Cements registered a rise of 10. 74 per cent. The cement despatches of Aditya Birla group, comprising UltraTech Cement and Grasim, in April jumped 17. 43 per cent while the cement major from north Shree Cement’s despatches surged a steep 28 per cent. The dramatic rise in April despatches is due to the low base last year because of the export ban which came into effect during the same period last year, thereby impacting despatches The price hike of Rs 12-15 for a 50 kg bag of cement during the March quarter of FY09 is helping cement makers reap the benefits.

    The market players have always maintained that pricing of cement is the function of supply and demand. The government had come up with two stimulus packages which also benefited the cement sector with excise duty cuts and re-imposition of counter-vailing duty (CVD) on the imported cement from Pakistan. Financial Year 09: FY09, the industry maintained volume growth of around 10% YoY. The industry added nearly 30 MT in FY09 over the previous year taking the total capacity to nearly 212 MTPA. India also has been catering to the cement requirements of the Middle East and the South East Asian nations.

    However, the exports were curtailed in FY09 in order to satisfy the domestic demand and contain inflation. While demand growth stood at 10% YoY, average industry cement realizations (average of price per bag of cement) were higher by about 5% YoY. The growth in realisations slowed down as additional capacities coming on stream eased the supply pressures. Considering the financial turmoil witnessed globally, financial institutions have tightened their credit norms. This cautious stance has led to a credit crunch and the same has impacted upcoming projects.

    On account of general economic slowdown and these issues, the demand for cement has moderated. However, stimulus packages that included reduction in excise duty announced by the government and agricultural income gave a fillip to the demand for the commodity. The industry volumes and realisations were higher during FY09 that boosted top line growth. However, cost of operation did also witnessed northward movement that exerted pressure on margins. To ensure smooth functioning of plants and lower costs, industry has opted to set up captive power plants based on coal.

    This has resulted in increase in demand for coal. But coal linkages for the industry are poor. Recently the ratio has dropped below 50%. So the players either have to purchase it from open market or import it. This has increased cost of operation. JSW Cement, part of the OP Jindal Group, plans to set up cement units near the group’s steel plants at Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, and Vijayanagar, Karnataka. The units which will have a combined capacity of 5. 5 MT per annum will be set up at a cost of US$ 393. 1 million. Anil Ambani Group Company Reliance Infrastructure will invest US$ 2. 1 billion to set up cement plants with a total capacity of 20 MT per annum over the next five years.

    Reliance Cementation, an Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) company plans to set up a 5 MT integrated cement plant in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra at a cost of US$ 463. 2 million.  Jaiprakash Associates Ltd has inked a MoU with state-owned Assam Mineral Development Corporation Limited (AMDC) for setting up a 2 MT per annum capacity cement plant at an estimated cost of US$ 221. 36 million. Iron ore mining firm Rungta Mines (RML), the flagship company of SR Rungta group, plans to set up a one million tonne cement plant in Orissa with an investment of around US$ 123 million Mergers and Acquisitions (M)

    Holcim strengthened its position in India by increasing its holding in Ambuja Cement from 22 per cent to 56 per cent through various open market transactions with an open offer for a total investment of US$ 1. 8 billion. Moreover, it also increased its stake in ACC Cement with US$ 486 million, being the single largest acquirer in the cement sector. Leading foreign funds like Fidelity, ABN Amro, HSBC, Nomura Asset Management Fund and Emerging Market Fund have together bought around 7. 5 per cent in India’s third-largest cement firm, India Cements (ICL), for US$ 124. 91 million.

    Cimpor, the Portugese cement maker, paid US$ 68. 10 million for Grasim Industries’ 53. 63 per cent stake in Shree Dig Vijay Cement.  CRH Plc, the world’s second biggest maker and distributor of building materials, acquired a 50 per cent stake in My Home Industries Ltd for almost US$ 372. 64 million. Vicat SA, a French cement maker acquired a 6. 67 per cent stake in Hyderabad-based Sagar Cement for US$ 14. 35 million.

    The industry is likely to maintain its growth momentum and continue growing at around 8% to 9% in the medium to long term. Government initiatives in the infrastructure sector and the housing sector are likely to be the main drivers of growth for the industry.  According to a report by the ICRA Industry Monitor, the installed capacity is expected to increase to 241 MTPA by FY 2010-end.

    India’s cement industry is likely to record an annual growth of 10 per cent in the coming years with higher domestic demand resulting in increased capacity utilization.  In the recent past, demand has surpassed supply, resulting in healthy cement prices across the country. However, this scenario is likely to reverse as the industry has lined up huge capacity expansion plans. With the growth in the sector and waning demand supply gap, cement producers have lined up capacity expansion plans.  Real estate and construction activities in the urban areas have taken a back seat with economic slowdown.

    The importance of the housing sector in cement demand can be gauged from the fact that it consumes almost 60%-70% of the country’s cement. If this support wanes, it would impact the growth in consumption of cement, leading to demand supply mismatch. Also, the hike in prices of coal and petroleum products could impact cement companies margins.



    • Growing International Presence
    • Cement Demand has increased due to the growth in Housing sectors, Infrastructure sectors, Industrial projects etc.
    • Capacity Utilization over 90%


    • Cement Industry is highly regionalized.
    • Low value commodity makes transportation over long distances Uneconomical.


    • Growth of core sector industries
    • Rapid integration with global economy.
    • Growing e-commerce business
    • Increasing urbanization


    • Entry of global players
    • Political Threats
    • The impact of foreign currency fluctuations and interest rates.


    A US $29. 2 billion corporation, the Aditya Birla Group is in the league of Fortune 500. It is anchored by an extraordinary force of 130,000 employees, belonging to 30 different nationalities. In India, the Group has been adjudged “The Best Employer in India and among the top 20 in Asia” by the Hewitt-Economic Times and Wall Street Journal Study 2007. Over 50 per cent of its revenues flow from its overseas operations.

    The Group operates in 25 countries — India, UK, Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Italy, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Australia, USA, Canada, Egypt, China, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, Dubai, Singapore, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia and Korea. Globally the Aditya Birla Group is  A metals powerhouse, among the world’s most cost-efficient aluminum and copper producers.

    Hindalco-Novelis is the largest aluminum rolling company. It is one of the three biggest producers of primary aluminum in Asia, with the largest single location copper smelter.  The fourth largest producer of insulators.  No. 1 in viscose staple fiber.  The fourth largest producer of carbon black. The 11th largest cement producer globally, the seventh largest in Asia and the second largest in India. Among the world’s top 15 BPO companies and among India’s top four. Among the best energy efficient fertilser plants In India.  A premier branded garments player. The second largest player in viscose filament yarn.

    The second largest in the chlor-alkali sector.  Among the top five mobile telephony companies. A leading player in life insurance and asset management. Among the top three supermarket chains in the retail business.


    Consolidated sales grew from Rs. 60013 crores in FY08 to Rs. 65625 crores which includes a non-cash unrealized derivative loss of around Rs. 2,381 crores. These derivatives are primarily related to customer fixed-price contracts, other commodities and currency. Aluminum business revenue was Rs. 54306 crores and PBIT at Rs. 25 crores while Copper stood at Rs. 10760 crores with a PBIT of Rs. 374 crores. The performance of the Aluminum business segment of Hindalco standalone during FY09 was severely impacted due to a sharp fall in LME and in downstream product demand. Average LME was lower by 15% than the previous year.

    The company then increased aluminum business by producing more metal and also improved plant efficiencies. They produced 523 KT of hot metal against 478 KT in the previous year. The Company recorded highest ever primary aluminum production this year and became the first Indian company to produce more than 0. Mn tonnes in a year. The turnover in the aluminum business grew by 6. 4 per cent to Rs. 7,604 crores vis-a-vis Rs. 7,145 crores in the corresponding period of the previous year, on the back of the highest ever metal volumes.


    The entry of Novelis into the Aditya Birla Group has provided a defining competitive edge to Hindalco as a global metals player. Novelis is the only company able to produce premium aluminum rolled products on all four continents where it operates. As the largest producer of flat rolled luminum Products, it ranks as number one in Europe, South America and Asia and is the second largest in North America. In addition to its aluminum rolling activities, Novelis operates bauxite mining, alumina refining, primary aluminum smelting and power generation facilities in Brazil that are Integrated with its rolling plants there. Its technologically sophisticated assets are best-in-class and its manufacturing technology.


    The Company’s consolidated net income from operations registered 15% year-on-year growth. The Telecom, Life Insurance, Carbon Black, Fertilizers and Garments businesses were the major contributors. Revenues from its subsidiaries and joint ventures, where the Company has made substantial investments in the past, grew by 12% from Rs. 7,908 Crores in the previous year to Rs. 8,857 Crores. The ‘Growth’ businesses contributed 72% to the consolidated revenues.


    With the acquisition of Spice Communications Limited that operated in Punjab and Karnataka service areas and with the roll out of operations in Mumbai, Orissa and Bihar, Idea Cellular Limited extended its operations to 16 service areas The Company launched two new apparel retailing concepts during the year. Five family stores were opened under the brand ‘Peter England People’ catering to menswear, women’s wear as well as kids wear segments The BPO business is expanding its delivery capacities in India to serve the growing telecom and financial services sectors.


    The cement production capacity increased from 18. 20 mtpa at the end of FY08 to 21. 90 mtpa on 31st March, 2009, as a result of expansion of capacity at the Company’s Unit at Andhra Pradesh Cement Works (APCW) together with a new split grinding Unit at Ginigera, Karnataka. Net Turnover grew by 16% due to higher domestic sales volume and improved prices in local and export markets. Exports constitute 9% and the Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) segment 7% of the Company’s Net Sales.


    UltraTech Cement Limited has an annual capacity of 18. million tonnes. It manufactures and markets Ordinary Portland cement, Portland Blast Furnace Slag Cement and Portland Pozzalana Cement. It also manufactures ready mix concrete (RMC). UltraTech Cement Limited has five integrated plants, six grinding units and three terminals — two in India and one in Sri Lanka. UltraTech Cement is the country’s largest exporter of cement clinker. The export markets span countries around the Indian Ocean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. UltraTech’s subsidiaries are Dakshin Cement Limited and UltraTech Ceylinco (P) Limited.

    The company exports over 2. 5 million tonnes per annum, which is about 30 per cent of the country’s total exports. The export market comprises of countries around the Indian Ocean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Export is a thrust area in the company’s strategy for growth.


    The cement production capacity increased from 18. 20 mtpa at the end of FY08 to 21. 90 mtpa on 31st March, 2009, as a result of expansion of capacity at your Company’s Unit at Andhra Pradesh Cement Works (APCW) together with a new split grinding Unit at Ginigera, Karnataka.

    The increase in realisation was much lower than the cost increase, which impaired margins. Growing demand in the Middle-East and a firm exchange rate resulted in improved export realisation until Q3FY09. However, export prices started softening from Q4FY09, due to a slowdown in the Middle East. Net Turnover Net Turnover grew by 16% due to higher domestic sales volume and improved prices in local and export markets. Exports constitute 9% and the Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) segment 7% of your Company’s Net Sales.

    Operating Profit and Margin

    • Energy cost per tonne went up by 26% from Rs. 670 in FY08 to Rs. 847 in FY09 due to a substantial hike in imported and indigenous coal prices coupled with higher exchange rate.
    • Freight and Handling expenses increased by 11% from Rs. 969 crores in FY08 to Rs. 1,071 crores in FY09 given higher volume of RMC and domestic cement sales and increase in rail freight /HSD prices.
    • Raw Material cost per tonne was up by 11% from Rs. 245 in FY08 to Rs. 272 in FY09, consequent to higher prices of all critical inputs viz. ypsum, fly ash, iron ore and inward freight.
    • Employee costs escalated on account of revision in compensation structure in line with market, growth in the number of RMC Plants and manpower deployed in new projects, which were in various stages of commissioning.

    Interest and Finance Charges Interest cost added up from Rs. 82 crores in FY08 to Rs. 126 crores in FY09 on account of additional borrowing for on-going large capex and re-payment of existing low cost debts, which were financed through high cost borrowing. Depreciation

    Depreciation mounted by 36% from Rs. 237 crores in FY08 to Rs. 323 crores in FY09 due to capitalisation of Line II at APCW, grinding Unit at Ginigera and Thermal Power Plants (TPPs) at various locations. During the year, your Company also revised the useful life of some of the assets resulting in depreciation being higher by Rs. 17 crores. Net Profit Net profit for FY09 stood at Rs. 977 crores compared to Rs. 1,008 crores in FY08.


    India is fast emerging on the world map as a strong economy and a global power. The Country is going through a phase of rapid development and growth. All the vital Industries and sectors of the country are registering growth and thus, luring investors. And cement industry is one of them. The cement industry is expected to grow steadily in 2009-2010 and increase capacity by another 50 million tons in spite of the recession and decrease in demand from the housing sector.

    The industry experts project the sector to grow by 9 to 10% for the current financial year provided India’s GDP grows at 7%. UltraTech Cement, owned by the Aditya Birla Group, plans to make a capital expenditure of Rs. 200 crore for debottlenecking its plants. The process would take a couple of years and would expand the production capacity of UltraTech by 2. 5 million tonnes (mt) per annum. Currently, the Aditya Birla Group, comprising UltraTech and Grasim Cement, has a capacity of 31 mt per annum. UltraTech contributes 17 million tonnes of cement and Grasim 14 million tonnes. Demand for cement was low at around 4. 7 per cent in the first six months of this fiscal.

    However, it is expected to rise to about 8 to 9 per cent in the post-monsoon period. The growth would be fuelled by the housing sector and the government’s thrust on infrastructure development. UltraTech is targeting a 12 per cent rise in revenue to Rs. 2,700 crore this fiscal from Rs. 2,400 crore earned last fiscal. The Aditya Birla Group expects a 10 per cent growth in turnover to Rs. 5,500 crore from the previous year’s Rs 5,000 crore.

    The merger of UltraTech Cement Limited and Samruddhi Cement Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grasim Industries Limited will result in UltraTech emerging as the largest cement company in India and 10th largest in the world. The merged entity will have the following capacities: 48. million TPA of grey cement across 22 plants, 504 MW of captive thermal power plants and 11. 7 million cubic metres of ready mix concrete across 68 plants.


    1. ”Navigating Through the turbulence”, The Economic Times 15 December 2008.
    2. “You just have to be connected to India”, The Economic Times 20 November 2009.
    3. “Global in Attitudes and true to one’s Roots”, The Economic Times 10 August 2009
    4. “Hope is back in Business Today”, India Today 8 June 2009.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

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    What is cement analysis?
    Cement analysis. The chemical c​omposition of cement ​plays a crucial role in the determination of its properties as a binder substance. The chemical analysis of cement components is widely used in the c​ement industry for production optimization and stable high-quality assurance of the final product.
    What is the market share of UltraTech Cement?
    UltraTech Cement: Over the past decade, UltraTech Cement has grown organically and inorganically. It has nearly doubled its capacity to a whopping 100m tonnes. The company has a market share of 25%.

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