The firm, also involved in making copper, blamed copper treatment and refining charges for the lower than expected rise.

The firm posted a net profit of INR4.6bn ($102.2M) in Oct-Dec while net sales rose nearly 12% to INR59.18bn ($1.31bn).

Hindalco, which gets 60% of its revenue from copper, said revenues rose for the segment but higher input costs and lower processing charges impacted profit.

Its total alumina production fell by 6% in the quarter to December but was offset by higher aluminium prices, it said.

Its Novelis unit reported a net loss of $46M for the third fiscal quarter of 2011, compared with net income of $68M for the same period in fiscal net income of $68M for the same period in fiscal 2010.

The loss was mainly due to charges of $74M to refinance debt and $20M for closing underperforming plants in Bridgnorth, UK, and Aratu, Brazil.

Hindalco said it expected global aluminium prices to remain at high levels in 2011.