Kumar Mangalam Birla: We should be back to pre-Covid levels in H2FY21


He added that the deal would cement Hindalco’s position as the leading aluminium value-added player in the world.He added that the deal would cement Hindalco’s position as the leading aluminium value-added player in the world.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Hindalco Industries, said on Thursday that the second quarter of financial year 2020-2021 would be better than the first quarter and that there would be a bounce back in the second half of the year. “We should be back to pre-Covid levels in H2FY21,” Birla told the shareholders at Hindalco’s 61st annual general meeting held in Mumbai.

Birla said that despite the slump in Q1 GDP, the activity levels are gradually normalising. “I remain confident that India’s long-term growth potential remains intact despite the Covid setback,” he said.

Commenting on the Aleris deal, Birla said the divestment procedures for Aleris’ automotive assets were underway and the acquisition would add aerospace and specialty aluminium capabilities to Novelis’ portfolio.

He added that the deal would cement Hindalco’s position as the leading aluminium value-added player in the world.

Giving an update on the current situation of the company post the lifting of lockdown, Birla said that all plants are operational at Novelis, and many are now running at their full capacity. “All the automotive customers in North America and China are now pulling at nearly pre-Covid levels,” he said.

Back home, the chairman said that all aluminium upstream plants continued to operate at near full capacity, while all aluminium downstream plants were operating at partial capacity. The copper facilities are also ramping up to their optimal levels.

On the capex for FY21, Birla said that the capital expenditure for Novelis would be in the range of $450-500 million for FY21, while that of Hindalco’s domestic operations would be to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore. Also, fixed costs would be cut by 15% in FY21.

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