New Delhi: Steel Authority of India Ltd expects the current financial year to March to be better than 2013-14 (Apr-Mar) on the back of softening in input prices, relative stabilisation of the rupee and likely easier interest rates, which may drive steel consumption in the country.

“…The current financial year would be better. The input prices are also on the lower side, the rupee has also centred and we feel that the impact of this would be available and the interest rates are also coming down steadily, the pattern is also on the hold or on the decline,” the company said at a post earnings conference call.

At 1312 IST, shares of SAIL were down 4.1% at 87.05 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.

The company also expects to reap the benefits of the enhanced capacities from the current financial year where modernisation and expansion is underway.

The company’s net sales realisation for May will be down by 800-850 rupees per tn as compared to March, the management said, adding that for the June quarter, the product prices were down by 500-700 rupees per tn from the last quarter.

Acknowledging there was a lull in demand in the market post March, the company said it had hiked discounts which is offered to customers while keeping the base prices intact.

SAIL had reported on Wednesday an almost flat bottomline, which was weighed down mainly by high expenditure and finance cost.

The company’s Jan-Mar net profit was 4.53 bln rupees, up 1.4% year on year, while an average of estimates by 10 brokerages had expected net profit at 8.26 bln rupees. Net sales for the Delhi-based company grew 9.43% on year to 133.10 bln rupees in Jan-Mar.

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