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Monday, April 03, 2006

L&T begins new year with huge orders: Naik

L&T is commencing the new year with an order backlog of Rs. 25,000 crore, A. M. Naik, Chairman and Managing Director, said here on Monday.

Addressing a press conference after inaugurating the Technology Centre II for L&T Infotech and the Toubro Construction Technology Centre at the Manapakkam complex of ECC, the company's engineering, construction and contract division, Mr. Naik said L&T's order book rose by over 50 per cent in the just concluded year to around Rs. 19,000 crore.

"Though the year is just few days old, we have alreday got a few hundered crore worth of orders,'' he said. L&T expected to see a 25-30 per cent growth in order book this year.

Mr. Naik said the orders were executable over two years. Most orders came in the final quarter of last year, he said.

Mr. Naik said L&T was serious about ship building. A final decision had not yet been taken as it was looking for a suitable site, which depended on factors such as city and community infrastructure, water depth and the like.

M. V. Kotwal, whole-time director, felt that L&T was advantageously positioned to bag orders placed by Indian and Air-India on Airbus and Boeing. Under the terms of the agreement, the two aircraft suppliers had to source a substantial quantum of sub-assembly components running to several crores of rupees from India under the `offset programme.' In this context, he said L&T was making advanced composites. Mr. Naik said L&T was already in the aerospace area by participating in the rocket body building programme. The company would try to expand the scope by entering into the testing arena.

He hinted at participating in the rocket programmes of other countries as well. The CMD was concerned over the `talent supply' as IT and ITES companies took away a chunk of them. Conceding that the `manpower problem' was acute, he said, L&T was tackling the issue through training.

The company as a whole, he said, would add around 4,000-4,500 people this year. The talent shortage was impacting acceleration of growth more than the cost, he said.

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