Aisha Steel Mills Limited (ASML) is one of the largest private sector investments in the value added flat-rolled steel industry. It is a Group Company of Arif Habib. It is a cold rolling complex with a nameplate capacity of 220,000 tons per year. It is one of the largest private sector investments in the value added flat-rolled steel industry in Pakistan.
ASML was incorporated in 2005 and its share in cold-rolled steel coils in the country is now over 50 percent. The company has also entered into a strategic tie-up-with Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan to assist in and ensure seamless marketing, sales and distribution of its products. ASML produces cold rolling coil (CRC), a type of steel, with a capacity of 220,000 tons annually and is one of the largest suppliers of CRC in the country. Its plant is located in the down-stream industrial estate of Pakistan Steel, Bin Qasim, Karachi.
The company imports Hot Rolled Coils (HRC) to manufacture CRC which is used in industrial, engineering and manufacturing industries. The company’s major shares are held by Arif Habib Corp (29.4 percent as at June 2016) and a Japanese company Metal One Corporation (24.6 percent as at June 2016). Other holders of major shares include another Japanese company Universal Metal Corporation (9.8 percent), and almost 10 percent of the shares are held by the local public. The company has 17 exclusive dealers that supply CRC all over Pakistan.
The company’s tie-up-with Mitsubishi Corporation was discontinued during fiscal year 2016 after the management decided to have in-house sales and marketing team, discontinuing its agreement with Mitsubishi Pakistan.
The company’s aim is to become class manufacturer of Cold Rolled Steel with mission to become an efficient producer of Cold Rolled Steel while serving interests of all stakeholders.
PERMISSIBLE BUSINESS ACTIVITIES
In addition to other permissible objects under the Memorandum of Association, the company has set up a cold rolling mill complex in the downstream Industrial Estate, Pakistan Steel, Bin Qasim, Karachi, to carry out its principal business of manufacturing and selling cold rolled steel in coils and sheets.
CORE VALUES: It is an equal opportunity employer. Discrimination on any grounds is fundamentally unacceptable.
HEALTH, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT: The company strongly endorses and emphasizes on managing resources ensuring safety within and beyond its own facilities.
SUSTAINABLE MANNER: ASML stands committed to carry out its business in a sustainable manner to promote preservation of the environment.
REGULATORY COMPLIANCE & CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
The Company remains committed to high standards of corporate governance, while adhering to the applicable laws and regulations.
INTEGRITY: Key success for any business fosters in a transparent environment based on ethical values. Values are based on highest integrity, which determines the way we work, leading to our well-founded reputation.
EXCELLENCE & EFFICIENCY: Efficiencies, appropriate risk management measures and pricing strategies should enable profitable operations and good shareholder returns in all market scenarios. At ASML, conviction for excellence emerges with a passion to provide customers with CRC comparable with international standards.
ASML produces Cold Rolled Coils (CRC) of international standards from imported Hot Rolled Coils (HRC).
The CRC products are being offered to the industrial, engineering and manufacturing industry as a premier raw material for transformation into any number of value-added products for the domestic and export markets.
ASML is the largest CRC plant in Pakistan with an Electrolytic Cleaning Line (ECL), which substantially improves the product quality, removing all impurities making ASML one of the most valuable CRC producers meeting the highest quality standards.
During the financial year 2015-16, the Company operated at a capacity level of 89 percent (produced 195,906 tons) in contrast to 61 percent (produced 134,272 tons) during the financial year 2014-15.
Sales volume during the current financial year stood at 181,259 tons as compared to 138,923 tons during the last financial year registering an increase by 30.47 percent in terms of quantity.
FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE AND DEMAND-SUPPLY DYNAMICS THROUGH THE YEARS
Production for ASML has been coming up since fiscal year 2014; going up from 127,384 tons to 195,906 tons with a growth of 54 percent.
The company has also improved its capacity utilization from 58 percent to 89 percent in fiscal year 2016, which is a major step for the company.
Though productions as well as revenues have come up, the company is still making losses owing to its still infancy and high maintenance costs.
It is still cash strapped and finance costs have come down recently. According to its annual report, the company manages its working capital requirements through KIBOR based funded and non-funded lines with different banks and financial institutions.
As a long term strategy, fixed assets are maintained out of long term borrowings. The debt to equity ratio in fiscal year 2016 was 69:31 against 67:33.
The new sales and marketing team helped in boosting sales by 30 percent in fiscal year 2016. Revenues more than doubled between fiscal year 2013 and fiscal year 2014; from Rs 4.3 billion to Rs 9.25 billion; though top line growth slowed down in subsequent years which are a play of lower prices.
Margins of the company have come up from 2 percent in fiscal year 2013 to 10 percent in fiscal year 2016 which is a testament to a major cut down in cost of production.
Raw material consumed as a share of cost of sales however has actually come up from 84 percent in fiscal year 2015 to 90 percent in fiscal year 2016.
The company is mindful of higher costs and has worked on building mechanical and electrical workshops to do repair and maintenance work in-house.
Demand in construction will be going up and peers in the cement sector are fast expanding to keep up with the infrastructural demand across the country.
Local steel manufacturers have a lot of work to do in terms of meeting this expansion in demand.
EARNINGS SHOOT UP 501 PERCENT
Aisha Steel Mills Limited (ASML) earned a net profit of Rs421 million in the third quarter ended March 31, up by a massive 501 percent from Rs70 million in the same period of the previous year. Earnings per share (EPS) increased to Rs 0.96 from an EPS of Rs 0.04 in the period under review.
Cumulatively, during the first nine months of fiscal year 2016-17, earnings clocked in at Rs 972 million (or an EPS of Rs 2.05) compared with a loss of Rs 484 million (or a Loss Per Share (LPS) of Rs 2.47) in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The company announced expansion plans in October 2016 and February 2017. The company board meeting will be reconvened to approve a revised expansion plan as well as to consider the requirement of additional capital, if any.
Even though Aisha Steel is a loss making entity right now, opportunities in the steel business are enormous and it is a major CRC supplier. One of the greatest risks to meeting demand obligations is cheap steel being dumping by China across the world, and in Pakistan.
The company applied with the anti-dumping regulatory body, the National Tariff Commission (NTC) against dumped steel from Ukraine and China and subsequently an anti-dumping duty (from 8 to 19 percent) was imposed.
The government also imposed a much controversial regulatory duty of 15 percent last year and then increased it to 30 percent along a variety of steel products to safeguard local interests, which may have provided some relief in the local industry.
As long as the company keeps rallying behind maintaining production and capacity utilization as it has; while cutting down on major costs, bringing operational efficiencies and improving margins, its fortunes could turn around in the next few years.
The management is making every effort to improve operational efficiencies by close monitoring and setting very tight operating parameters and standards to optimize cost at every stage of production. Cost is also being saved by carrying out in-house repair and maintenance work.
The engineering teams have been making every effort to further improve and build state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical workshops.
During the current financial year, the management after due diligence and evaluation decided to set up an in-house sales & marketing team and distribution agreement with Mitsubishi Pakistan was discontinued.
The Company’s key business being that of a manufacturing concern, it has evolved its risk management system incorporating both production and sales strategy.
Starting with raw material procurement, the Company has always followed a policy of diversification of sources with focus on quality. Basing decisions on product mix requirements, customer demand and market analysis.
The Company manages its risk by applying caution with respect to the stock selection and inventory levels; avoiding concentration risk, ensuring credit/receipt of clean funds.