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Blue Dart Q1 net up 88%

News Clip : Hindu Business Line, Bangalore

23rd April, 2008.

Good growth in volume of cargo in January and February led Blue Dart Express Ltd to record a net profit growth of 88 per cent to Rs 30.7 crore in the first quarter ended March 31, 2008, which is up from Rs 16.3 crore in the same quarter last year.

The total income of the company has risen by 31.9 per cent to Rs 240 crore (Rs 182 crore).

The volume growth was about 38 per cent in the first two months. Another contributing factor to the robust growth has been lower depreciation during the said quarter by Rs 5 crore against corresponding quarter of the previous year.

The majority of the lower depreciation charge relates to the decision of the company to 'Reduce to Produce' aircraft and the consequent accelerated depreciation charge of 'D-check' in the year 2007, said the company in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

However, the company witnessed a softening in the numbers for March, said Mr Yogesh Dhingra, Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer of Blue Dart Express.

CARRYING CAPACITY

"The slowdown in the US economy and general global economic environment has affected the volumes in the month of March. Also the distribution did not take off much last month," he said.

Though the cargo volumes have not been impressive for March, Mr Dhingra said it is not a cause for concern yet. "The slowdown in the US economy will have some impact on India but it will take at least another two months to assess the actual situation."

Blue Dart Express currently operates six freighters - three each of Boeing 737 and Boeing 757. With these freighters the company has the capacity to carry 300 tonnes of express cargo per day through its overnight operations. It is currently utilising 80 per cent of this capacity.

According to Mr Dhingra, the company would keep adding one Boeing 757 freighter per year to its fleet till 2011-12, if the Indian economy grows close to 8 per cent plus. The shares of the company closed at Rs 551.60 on Tuesday, down 0.45 percent from previous day's close of Rs 554.10.

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