Cement maker The India Cements Ltd has drawn up plans to increase the price of cement sold per bag by Rs 55 which would be implemented in phases from June, a top official said on Friday.
The city-headquartered company also planned to 'monetise its assets' by selling some portion of 26,000 sq ft land owned by the company, which would be used for repayment of debts and for taking up improvements at its manufacturing facilities, India Cements Vice Chairman N Srinivasan said.
"I am increasing the price of cement per bag by Rs 20 on June 1, by another Rs 15 on the 15th of June and another Rs 20 on the first of July," he told reporters.
The increase in cement per bag should cover the cost increases the company was facing and the company's profit and loss account should look better, he said.
Asked about some cement makers planning to cut retail price of cement per bag, Srinivasan also the Managing Director said, "please do not compare me with others. See, I have a job to do, my job is chief executive of a cement company. All costs have gone up and I have to do something (to increase the price), otherwise I will lose more money."
To a query on the increase in the cement price would affect sales, he said it would not affect the sales and as India Cements has a "very good brand pull."
"It is for two reasons (why it will not affect sales) -- one -- I give the best quality (of cement) and second -- people say I am good manufacturer, I have been there for 75 years and my testimonial is stronger, my brand pull is very good," he said.
On the plan to monetise its assets, he said, "what we plan to do is that surplus land we will monetise and use that for two reasons -- do our repayments and also to make some improvements in the plants so that my costs go down substantially."
"I will monetise to an extent. I have to do my repayments. Last year, I repaid Rs 551 crore, this year about Rs 500 crore has to be repaid. I will refinance or repay", he said.
To execute the monetisation plan, Srinivasan said the company has formed a 'internal committee' comprising senior people who would look at the selling of the properties.
"I have put in one group. It is in charge of monetisation. I have told them (to the group), how much money we need, how much money we need for repayment. We have estimated money what we need for plant improvement. It is surplus land, whether it is in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu or any place they can sell," he said.
He clarified that the company was not planning to sell the assets in 'distress' and to ensure that his liquidity was good.