Hindustan Zinc Limited (BSE: 500188), the only integrated zinc producer in India, is the world's second largest integrated zinc producer with revenue of Rs. 85.47 billion per year. Hindustan Zinc is also the world's lowest cost zinc producer.
With 98% of its earnings coming from zinc and lead, Hindustan Zinc's earnings are dependent on global metal prices. Notwithstanding the sharp 48% decline in zinc spot prices , HZL has been able to maintain an operating profit margin of 71%. This was made possible by increased operating efficiency due to increased volumes and higher by-product revenue. In spite of lower zinc spot prices, HCL's wide operating margin allows them to continue to invest in expanding production capacity and absorb low price pressure.
The company has expanded zinc and lead production capacity to 1 million tonnes per year, making HZL the world's largest integrated zinc-lead producer in 2010.
Hindustan Zinc is an integrated producer of zinc and lead. The Company’s core business is mining and smelting of zinc and lead along with captive power generation. As of March 31, 2010, the company had four mines and four smelting operations. HZL's mines are located at Rampura Agucha, Sindesar Khurd, Rajpura Dariba and Zawar in the State of Rajasthan, while the smelters are located at Chanderiya, Debari and Dariba in the State of Rajasthan and Vizag in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010 (fiscal 2010), HZL sold 386,000 tons of zinc metal in the domestic market, while exports accounted for 192,000 tons. Sale of lead metal in the domestic market was 51,000 tons, while the export sale accounted for 13,500 tons. It also sold 223,500 dry metric tons (DMT) of surplus zinc concentrate and 30,900 DMT of surplus lead concentrate in fiscal 2010.
Generating captive power to cover HZL's energy needs is an important aspect of achieving cost effectiveness by vertical integration. The company now has a 234 MW coal based power generation capacity and 123.2 MW wind power generation capacity at Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
First Quarter 2010 Results (ended June 30, 2010)
During the first quarter of 2010, HZL reported that refined metal production was up 15% to 180,000 tonnes. Silver production was up 5% to 43,000 kilograms. Also during the quarter, revenues were up 29% to Rs. 1,951 crore. First quarter profit was up 24% to Rs 891 crore. The company maintained a strong balance sheet with cash and cash equivalents of Rs. 12,300 crore.
Share holding pattern:
Sterlite industries now holds the majority of HZL shares with nearly 65% ownership of the company; the Government of India owns nearly 30% of the company but Sterlite Industries has an option to buy the government's stake. In case the option is exercised, the government has the option to divest 3.5 per cent stake in favor of HZL employees.
|Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd. (STERLITEIND-BY)||64.92%|
|Government of India||29.54%|
|Banks Fin. Inst. and Insurance||0.53%|
|Private Corporate Bodies||0.48%|
Over 98% of the company revenues are contributed by zinc and lead. In fiscal year 2008, the production capacity of zinc and lead were 669,000 tonnes and 85,000 tonnes respectively. The zinc production increased by 22.4 percent to 426,323 tonnes, while company's lead production increased by 30.7 percent to 58,247 tonnes, as compared to 2007.
HZL operates four mines at Rampura Agucha, Sindesar Khurd, Rajpura Dariba, and Zawar -- all located in Rajasthan.
Standalone smelters receive treatment and refining charges (TcRc) for processing the zinc concentrate. The TcRc is volatile in nature and is dependent on the zinc price in the market. Since HZL is an integrated player, its smelting operations are insulated from the risk of lower TcRc. HZL operates three smelters -- Chanderiya and Debari in Rajasthan, and one in Vizag, Andhra Pradesh.
HZL also produces silver, sulphuric acid, cadmium ingots and copper cathode as by-products. In Fiscal year 2008, the silver production was 80,405 kg, while sulphuric acid and cadmium metal production stood at 753,966 tonnes and 537 tonnes, respectively. On 24th April 2008, the company announced to increase silver production to 500 tonnes per year.
Zinc is used to galvanizing steel to prevent it from rusting as well as to make copper based alloys like brass. This special galvanized steel finds end use in outdoor construction and transportation related activities. An economic slowdown or recession has a direct bearing with the per capita GDP of a country and it results in lower consumer spending. A 2008 financial crisis induced global economic slowdown would reduce public and private spending on infrastructure development and construction activities and would lower the demand for zinc. Lower demand leads to zinc price reductions, which in turn reduces the profit margin of HZL.
The increased supply of zinc from mine expansions in China, Australia, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, India and Canada has led to a global surplus inventory of about 150,000 tonnes. The spot price of zinc has decreased by more than 48% within the year. The lower prices have reduced the already narrow margin of some of the more cost ineffective mines around world. Intec, Aim Resources and Hudson Bay Minerals have suspended operations and stopped development works at their mines. Perilya and CBH Resources also have announced to cut down the production by over 20% in their mines. The continuation of the trend would ensure the survival of only the relatively cost effective producers. Taking advantage of it's lower cost of production, HZL has announced plans to increase its production to over 1 million tonnes/annum. This step would increase the market share of HZL in the zinc commodities market.
Exports contribute 32.3% to HZL's total revenues. The value of the Indian rupee (INR) compared to the US dollar impacts the earnings of the miner. Any appreciation in the value of the INR results in to lower margins, thereby resulting in lower share price and dividend payments. Further if HZL fails to predict the amount of exports in a given period and thereby does not hedge its foreign earnings, currency movements impact earnings. During 2008, the INR/USD relationship remained volatile. The flight of foreign capital amidst fears of a slowing Indian economy led to a weak INR as compared to USD, thereby benefiting HZL. But with the government taking steps to restore investor confidence in the economy, the Rupee is again appreciating.
HZL is the second largest integrated zinc producer of the world. It competes globally with integrated players, miners and smelters. Some of its Important competitors are mentioned below.
Although HZL is the second largest integrated zinc producer, it ranks fifth in terms of mining companies and seventh in terms of smelting companies.