Hindalco Profit Beats Estimates on Rupee Decline, Other Income

Hindalco Industries Ltd., India’s second-largest aluminum maker, reported a 3.8 percent drop in third-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates as a depreciating rupee boosted earnings and income from sources other than operations more than tripled.

Net income, excluding unit Novelis Inc., declined to 4.34 billion rupees ($81 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 from 4.51 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said today in a statement. The median estimate of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 3.94 billion rupees. Sales gained 3 percent to 67.9 billion rupees.

A 3.9 percent depreciation of the Indian rupee in the period helped Hindalco as it pegs sales in the country to prices on the London Metal Exchange, which denominates contracts in dollars. Prices of copper, which the company also produces, rose 5.3 percent on the LME in the three months.

Hindalco’s income from sources other than its main business climbed to 3.18 billion rupees, compared with 915.9 million rupees a year ago, according to the statement.

Shares of the company, controlled by billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, fell as much as 3.5 percent to 109.35 rupees and traded 2.9 percent lower as of 3:14 p.m. in Mumbai. The shares have declined 29 percent in the past year, compared with an 11 percent increase in the benchmark Sensitive Index.

Total expenses at Hindalco, based in Mumbai, rose to 64.8 billion rupees from 61.1 billion rupees during the quarter. Finance costs more than doubled to 1.69 billion rupees, while losses incurred on inventories were 3.05 billion rupees, compared with a gain of 3.8 billion rupees a year ago.

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