Kolkata, Jan 27 (PTI) Carbon black manufacturer PCBL Ltd, a part of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, is expecting that input cost pressure with higher crude oil prices and sea freight supply chain disruptions will remain in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal, an official said.

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The input cost was up by about 15 per cent, while high freight expenses and logistics disruptions dented exports margins, the company official told analysts.

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"Cost pressure will remain but this quarter will be better with logistics supply easing,” he said.

The company will rebalance its export basket after the revival of the domestic market, the official said, adding that it aims at equal share between the revenue from operations within the country and exports in the next four-five years.

In the December quarter of the current fiscal, exports accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the company's turnover as the domestic demand remained sluggish owing to "poor automobile production and semiconductor shortage", he said.

Manufacturing of motorcycles and three-wheeler vehicles was also down, the official said.

Expansion projects of the carbon black maker were on track and the company also raised Rs 399 crore in the last quarter, he said.

The cost pressure and logistics expenditure squeezed the company's margins in the October-December period as it posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 111 crore, down from Rs 125 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Sales at Rs 1,156 crore during the period were up due to a massive jump in exports, the official said.

The company will pump in around Rs 1,300-1,400 crore over the next two years on capacity expansion, another official said.

The planned expansion includes an Rs 800-crore greenfield plant near Chennai and a brownfield unit in Mundra for speciality carbon that would entail an investment of Rs 300-350 crore.

The company will also invest Rs 100 crore in research and development facilities in Belgium and India, he said.

PCBL now produces around 6,00,000 tonne of carbon black annually from its four strategically located plants at Durgapur in West Bengal, Palej and Mundra in Gujarat and Kochi in Kerala.

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