LAHORE - On the pressure of the Sindh provincial government the Engro Fertilizer has rolled back the urea prices to the previous level of Rs1,580 per 50 kg bag, withdrawing its earlier decision of rate escalation of Rs400 per bag on Oct 31. Industry sources said that the Sindh government has intervened against this price hike and raided the urea plant in Dharki, seizing the whole shipment of urea bags on the night of Oct 31st. The Sindh Excise Department forced the Engro Corporations management to reverse its decision of huge price escalation. The Corporations Corporate head Khalid Mir told The Nation the ongoing gas supply issue to the new urea plant was a major concern for the company. It is for this reason that the company increased the urea price by Rs400 (inclusive of GST) on October 30, 2011. He said the provincial government has no authority to interfere the price fixation of fertilizers product. He said the provincial Excise Department raided their plant which is totally illegal. He said the fertilizer industry is fully authorized and independent to raise or decrease the urea rates and no government could intervene or dictate us to fix the rates. He confirmed that the company also issued a notice early this morning, stating a reversal in prices to previous levels of Rs1,580 per bag. He claimed that the government has also agreed to a long-term and sustainable strategy for provision of gas to the new urea plant. Experts said that higher urea prices along with increased volumetric sales due to addition of the new urea plant, helped EFLs revenue to jump by 74 percent to Rs22.2b in 9M2011. Consequently, gross margins augmented to 55 percent in 9M2011 compared to 48pc last year. Furthermore, other income of Rs702m (up 106percent) supported the bottom line of the company. Hence, the company was able to register profit of Rs3.5b versus earnings of Rs2.9b, up 22percent. Bilal Qamar, a fertilizer industry expert, observed that Engro Corporation held its analyst briefing to discuss its 9M2011 result. The company posted earnings of Rs5.6b compared to a profit of Rs4.4b in 9M2010, up 27 percent. Higher profit from Engro Fertilizer Limited (EFL), Engro Powergen, Engro Foods and lower losses from Engro Polymer (EPCL) were the major growth drivers. Engro Vopak continued with its smooth operations and posted flat earnings of Rs781m while Engro Eximps PAT dropped by 36 percent in 9M2011 amid fixed costs of the rice business.