Saturday, January 22, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S
Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong with Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna and industrialist Ratan Tata at the inauguration of the first phase of International Tech Park Limited at Whitefield on the Bangalore city outskirts on Friday.
Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong with Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna and industrialist Ratan Tata at the inauguration of the first phase of International Tech Park Limited at Whitefield on the Bangalore city outskirts on Friday. — PTI
  US boxer Mike Tyson points to his new Graff watch in a store at London's New Bond Street where he reportedly spent $ 1.8 million.
US boxer Mike Tyson points to his new Graff watch in a store at London's New Bond Street where he reportedly spent $ 1.8 million. — AP/PTI


IT giants live up to expectations Wipro net up 118 pc
HCL Tech net vaults 101 pc

PC sales grow by 45 pc in first half
NEW DELHI, Jan 21 — The sales of personal computer improved by 45 per cent at 6.63 lakh units in the first half of 1999-2000 as against 4.5 lakh units for the same period last fiscal, suggesting an upward swing in the IT hardware sector, according to the Manufacturers Association for Information Technology.



EARLIER STORIES
 
  MUMBAI : Miss world-99 Yukta Mookhey walks on the ramp at Seema Roye's fashion show, titled "design your dreams" in Mumbai on Thursday night. Seema roye has designed the gown of the millenium donned by Yukta Mookhey. PTI
Miss World-99 Yukta Mookhey walks down the ramp at Seema Roye's fashion show, titled "design your dreams" in Mumbai on Thursday night. — PTI

Maruti plans fun drive for women
CHANDIGARH, Jan 21 — Maruti Udyog will organise a contest for women drivers called “Women’s Power Drive” here on January 23. The fun-filled treasure hunt drive will emphasise on safe driving and traffic rules.

Lower cell phone charges from Nov
NEW DELHI, Jan 21 — The Delhi High Court today asked cellular operators in metros to cut the rental on mobile phones from Rs 600 per month to Rs 474 retrospectively from November and bring down the call charges from Rs 6 per minute to Rs 4 from next month.

Sun Pharma to consider bonus
MUMBAI, Jan 21 — The Board of Directors of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries will meet on February 1 on consider a bonus issue of shares. Sun Pharma currently has an equity base of Rs 15.42 crore and reserves of Rs 250.75 crore.Top




IT giants live up to expectations

Wipro net up 118 pc

BANGALORE, Jan 21 (PTI) — Wipro has recorded sales and other income of Rs 1,562 crore for the nine-month period ending December 1999, up by 28 per cent over the corresponding period in 1998-99.Wipro said in a release here that its profit after tax was Rs 203 crore, a 118 per cent rise from Rs 93.10 crore over the corresponding period last year.

At its board meeting here today, its Directors approved the audited accounts for the nine-month period ending December, 1999.

Wipro Technologies saw sales and other income grow by 62 per cent up to the third quarter, to Rs 706 crore.

The profit before interest and tax (operating margin) was Rs 193.40 crore, a 61 per cent growth over that in 1998-99.

Wipro Infotech increased sales and other income by 20 per cent to Rs 540.90 crore.

The profit before interest and tax was Rs 18.40 crore. During the quarter ended December, 1999, shareholders of Wipro and Wipro Computers Ltd approved a scheme of merger between the two companies.

Wipro consumer care and lighting recorded a 14 per cent lower growth at Rs 241 crore.

The company attributed the drop in the turnover to a fall in vanaspati sales by 43 per cent. Sales of toilet soaps grew by 13 per cent in value terms, the release said. Top



 

HCL Tech net vaults 101 pc

MUMBAI, Jan 21 (UNI) — HCL Technologies Limited has recorded a 101 per cent surge in net profit during the second quarter ended December 31, 1999, to touch Rs 41.69 crore as against Rs 20.72 crore a year earlier.HCL Technologies’ sales for the quarter were at Rs 90.70 crore, up 36 per cent from Rs 66.45 crore for the same period last year.

Its net profit for the first half of its financial year was Rs 75.41 crore, up 94 per cent from Rs 38.93 crore a year ago.

Sales for the half-year stood at Rs 175.64 crore, registering a growth of 39 per cent from Rs 126.53 crore in the same period last year.

The company said its share of revenues from e-commerce and Internet-related businesses increased to 36 per cent of total revenues during the July-December period compared with 24 per cent in the same period last year.

The company said its employee stock options programme covers over 90 per cent of the 2,949 employees as on December 31. About 73.72 per cent of the company’s shares are held by the promoters. Individuals and companies hold 18.49 per cent, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) hold 3.62 per cent, expatriate Indians and overseas corporate bodies hold 2.33 per cent while banks and mutual funds hold 1.85 per cent.

Other income for the second quarter and half year include a one-time interest income of Rs 10.05 crore. During the quarter ended December 31, the equity shares of the company of Rs 10 each were split into equity shares of Rs 4 each.Top


 

PC sales grow by 45 pc in first half
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Jan 21 — The sales of personal computer (PC) improved by 45 per cent at 6.63 lakh units in the first half of 1999-2000 as against 4.5 lakh units for the same period last fiscal, suggesting an upward swing in the IT hardware sector, according to the Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT).

The quake in Taiwan, which had resulted in the increase in the prices of PC, had little effect on the sales.

Considering the robust growth in PC sales, MAIT has predicted that PC sales will grow by 41 per cent at 1.45 million units for the year 1999-2000 over the previous fiscal.

MAIT said the PC penetration has increased to 4.4 to 4.6 per 1000 against 3 per 1000 during the same period last year.

The market share of Indian brands and MNC brands reduced from 23 per cent and 29 per cent to 21 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.Top


 

Maruti plans fun drive for women
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 21 — Maruti Udyog will organise a contest for women drivers called “Women’s Power Drive” here on January 23. The fun-filled treasure hunt drive will emphasise on safe driving and traffic rules.

The route stretches over 70 km in and around the city. The driver along with her navigator and family members will be given clues to reach various checkpoints. On reaching a check point, the participant will get herself registered and head for the next point.

The winner will be chosen not on the basis of how fast she has reached the final point but on the basis of adhering to the traffic rules and safe driving.

Events like best maintained car, quiz, dance competition, the oldest couple participant, youngest participant, oldest car etc. will also be conducted and special prizes will be given, says a MUL release.

The first Women’s Power Drive was held at Chandigarh by MUL on December 13, 1998.

Encouraged by the response, Maruti Udyog decided to make it regular event for women. The city has the highest number of women drivers as a percentage of the total population.Top


 

Lower cell phone charges from Nov

NEW DELHI, Jan 21 (PTI) — The Delhi High Court today asked cellular operators in metros to cut the rental on mobile phones from Rs 600 per month to Rs 474 retrospectively from November and bring down the call charges from Rs 6 per minute to Rs 4 from next month. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S.N.Variava and Mr Justice S.K.Mahajan asked the cellular companies in other circles to charge a rental of Rs 500 from November 1,1999, and airtime charge of Rs 4.50 per minute from February 1.

The court said these were the rates recommended by TRAI.

The court said the calculation for the airtime charges would be done at Rs 2 for 30 seconds pulse rate against the 20 seconds suggested by TRAI. This followed as per the suggestion of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) which said that the companies had to make certain changes in their software.

The court said the arrears of the overcharged per month rent at the rate of Rs 600 from August last year, would be adjusted in future bills of the subscribers by the operators within three months from February.

The court made it clear that the arrangement on airtime pulse rate “is interim, subject to the final calculation of licence fee by the government or any licencing authority.”

It said any operator who wished to make incoming calls free on the mobile phones or wanted to offer “better” rental and airtime package to the subscribers, was free to do so.

The billing cycle for the future bills under the new arrangement, would also start from February 1, the court said.

Today’s order came after the COAI sought clarification on the court’s Tuesday order quashing calling party pays (CPP) regime under which incoming calls on cellular phones were proposed to be made free by TRAI.

COAI counsel Gopal Subramaniam told the court that TRAI had fixed per month airtime charges at Rs 4 but the existing software calculated it on the basis of Rs 2 per 20 seconds pulse rate making it difficult to implement.

He said the operators were ready to calculate the charges at Rs 2 per 30 seconds pulse rate and make changes in their software accordingly.

The COAI had raised objection to court’s observation in its Tuesday order that the benefits received by the operators should be passed on to consumers saying the tariff was a consequence of TRAI’s proposal but an impression was created that it had come from the court.Top


 

Sun Pharma to consider bonus

MUMBAI, Jan 21 (UNI) — The Board of Directors of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries will meet on February 1 on consider a bonus issue of shares. Sun Pharma currently has an equity base of Rs 15.42 crore and reserves of Rs 250.75 crore.

BIFR has proposed the merger of the sick Gujarat Lyka Organics with Sun Pharmaceuticals as part of the former’s draft revival plan.

BIFR’s draft rehabilitation scheme envisages a capital expenditure of Rs 7.31 crore, margin money for working capital of Rs 4.43 crore and repayment of Rs 7.5 crore debt.

Gujarat Lyka is engaged in manufacturing of six amino penicillanic acid and other downstream semi-synthetic pencillins at its Ankeleshwar unit in Gujarat.

The Rs 19.2 crore scheme will be financed by way of unsecured Rs 8.7 crore loan from SPIL and income tax benefit of Rs 10.54 crore.Top


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CORPORATE RESULTS

Bajaj Auto
BAJAJ Auto has recorded a 32 per cent surge in net profit during the third quarter of 1999-2000 to touch Rs 128.64 crore as against Rs 97.56 crore a year ago.

Bajaj Auto’s sales for the quarter were at Rs 997.26 crore, up 17 per cent from Rs 849.24 crore for the same quarter of the previous year.

Net profit for the nine-month period amounted to Rs 377.12 crore from Rs 340.60 crore a year earlier.

Asian Paints
Asian Paints has recorded a 48 per cent jump in net profit for the third quarter of 1999-2000 to Rs 23.24 crore from Rs 15.72 crore a year ago. Asian Paints’ sales for October-December were Rs 301.82 crore, up 46 per cent from Rs 206.66 crore for the same quarter last year.

Hindustan Const
Hindustan Construction Company today reported a lower net profit of Rs 2.34 crore during the first half ended December, 1999 against Rs 2.58 crore last year.

Much of the first half profit was due to well performance in the second quarter when net profit stood at Rs 4.64 crore against Rs 2.08 crore last year.

Ciba Spl
The net profit of Ciba Speciality Chemicals (India) Ltd has soared by 219 per cent at Rs 6.70 crore on a 76 per cent rise in net sales at Rs 113.6 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 1999 as against the similar period last year.

Concor
The Board of Directors of Container Corporation of India Limited has approved an interim dividend of 20 per cent for 1999-2000 having registered a 26.6 per cent growth in net profit during the first nine months of the year. Net profit for the period was Rs 130.66 crore as against Rs 103.19 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

J & K Bank
Jammu and Kashmir Bank has reported a 72 per cent growth in net profit for the third quarter of 1999-2000 to Rs 36 crore from Rs 20.88 crore a year ago. The bank’s total income for the period was Rs 243 crore, up 44 per cent from Rs 168 crore for the same quarter in the previous year.

Nalco Chem
Nalco Chemicals has registered a 20.71 per cent decline in net profit during the third quarter of current financial year at Rs 1.80 crore against Rs 2.27 crore in the corresponding period previous year.

Ballarpur Ind
Ballarpur Industries on Friday reported a 261 per cent jump in net profits at Rs 13.15 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 1999 as against Rs 5.04 crore for the same period last year. The net profits for quarter over quarter increased 30 per cent as the company had recorded Rs 10.13 crore during August-October 1999 period.

Binani Ind
Binani Industries has reported a substantially higher net profit of Rs 6.34 crore during the third quarter of 1999-2000 against Rs 0.47 crore in the same quarter of 1998-99. In the nine month period of 1999-2000, net profit stood at Rs 17.94 crore against Rs 4.39 crore last fiscal. — AgenciesTop


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BIZ BRIEFS

Bullion
Gold Std. Rs 4520
Gold 22-Ct Rs 4370
Silver Ready Rs 7900
Silver delivery Rs 7830

Forex
US $ Rs 43.57/58
Stg Rs 72.12/14
Euro Rs 44.19/21
Yen (100) Rs 41.64/66

SBI function
LUDHIANA, Jan 21 (FOC) — The Sarabha Nagar branch of SBI today celebrated its first establishment day as public awareness/social commitment day. Mr O.P. Bhardwaj, Deputy General Manager, distributed sweaters to 100 students of a Government primary school.

Poultry feed
CHANDIGARH, Jan 21 (TNS) — The North India Broilers Breeders Association has objected to the imposition of 4 per cent sales tax on poultry feed by the Chandigarh Administration following rationalisation of the sales tax structure. A letter by the Association to the UT Finance Secretary pointed out that no other State had put this item on second schedule of 4 per cent tax. Punjab, Haryana, Delhi had no sales tax on poultry feed till today.

Himagrico
NURPUR, Jan 21 (FOC) — Himagrico, a unit of Himachal Pradesh Agro Industries Corporation (HPAIC), producing iron farm implements and other tools, faces closure due to apathy of the State Government. The unit has incurred a loss of Rs 15 lakh in 1998-99. The Government departments which are supposed to buy implements from this unit used to buy its products on credit only when there was paucity of funds. Top



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