Asahi India sees auto, construction driving growth

Date: 11 September 2007
Source: Reuters
Asahi India Glass Ltd sees 13-14 percent growth in automotive glass segment and 50 percent growth in architectural glass in FY08, a senior company official said on Thursday.

Auto glass segment contributes 40 percent of Asahi's revenue, while the balance comes from the architectural and float glass segment.

"An independent demand increase for glass by itself and derived demand increase because of growth in auto and construction industries will drive the growth," Sanjay Labroo, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, told Reuters.

The company has almost completed its four-year expansion including Uttarakhand and Chennai at a cost of 12 billion rupees and these capacities would be operational by January 2008, he said.

"There are few little pieces left (in expansion) now. They will depend on how market evolves," he said.

Asahi, which commands 80 percent of India's auto glass market, would gain from value addition even if it lost market share as new players enter the segment.

"I am not saying we are going to lose market share but keeping 80 percent market is difficult task. We just can't stick to a number and say it will never change," Labroo said.

Asahi competes with French firm Saint Gobain's India unit. Nippon Sheet Glass Co recently said it plans to set up a plant in India for $20 million.

Asahi, a joint venture between Asahi Glass of Japan, India's Maruti Udyog and the Labroo family, has a 35 percent share of the float glass market and 25 percent of architectural processing segment.

It supplies automotive glass to all major auto makers -- Maruti, Tata Motors , Mahindra and Mahindra and the Indian units of Hyundai Motor and Honda Motor .

600450 Asahi India sees auto, construction driving growth
Date: 11 September 2007
Source: Reuters

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