Cement stocks upbeat
Cement firms have seen strong double-digit profit growth for the September quarter over the year-ago period. Pan-India also saw a rise in retail cement prices. ACC Ltd, Ambuja Cements Ltd and UltraTech Cement Ltd, have outperformed the benchmark Sensex of BSE over the past six months. According to Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd, "All-India average cement prices up by 3.3 per cent month-on-month (Rs. 9 per bag)." According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the new projects announced during the September quarter have contracted by 50 per cent year-on-year. The obvious fallout of this lacklustre activity is reflected in poor growth in demand offtake for cement at around 3-4 per cent during April-October compared with the year-ago period.