Feb 24, 2012 07:54 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Demand strong in India; annual sales to grow 7-7.5%: BILT

Demand for both coated and uncoated paper continues to be strong in India, said B Hari Haran, group director of finance of BILT.

Demand for both coated and uncoated paper continues to be strong in India, said B Hari Haran, group director of finance of BILT.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18 about the performance of the company, he said, demand for coated and uncoated paper is growing at around 8-10% and 8% respectively.

The paper producer expects topline to grow at 7-7.5% annually. On a consolidated half year basis, margins currently are 17%, which is expected to go up to 19% for the year. 

"The pulp mill which is getting commissioned in Sabah will be available for at least four months in this year, that will have an impact on the margins, he added.

Below is the edited transcript of the interview. Also watch the accompanying video.

Q: Can you tell us what the demand picture is looking like at this point? In the last quarter we had have some margin compression. Was that as a result of lower demand or was it cost of raw material that weighed on the margins?

A: Last quarter was an exceptional quarter for us because consolidated results include Malaysian company, Sabah Forest Industries where we are expanding. The plant is shut for two months for commissioning expansion. So, the results are not comparable with the previous quarter.

The demand situation continues to be strong in India. Coated paper is growing at about 8-10% and uncoated is growing at around 8%. We have done expansion in paper, we don

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