BENGALURU - India's JSW Steel said on Friday it expected higher sales and spending in the financial year 2025, even as the country's top steelmaker posted a drop in fourth-quarter profit.

Consolidated net profit for the three months to March 31 fell nearly 65% year-on-year to 12.99 billion rupees ($155.9 million) on higher costs and softer steel prices.

However, its steel sales are expected to rise to 27 million tons (MT) in the current fiscal year, higher than 21.22 MT sales logged in the financial year 2024.

It also estimated a capex of 200 billion rupees ($2.40 billion) in the current fiscal year, compared with 167.52 billion spent in FY24.

The O.P. Jindal group company reported a sequential fall in profit after logging three straight quarterly gains on the back of strong domestic demand.

Domestic steel prices contracted in the quarter amid weak demand in China as the world's top producer and consumer of the metal grappled with concerns in its property sector.

India became a net importer of cheap finished steel products in FY24.

Imports from China remained a challenge for the domestic steel industry, JSW Steel said in a statement.

However, higher costs of key steelmaking raw materials, iron ore and coking coal, led to higher expenses, further pressuring the company's bottomline.

Total revenue from operations fell 1.5% to 462.69 billion rupees, while a 2.9% surge in expenses was led by a rise in input costs.

The fall in earnings come as India's top steelmakers, including JSW Steel and Tata Steel, are expected to invest billions to ramp up capacity as domestic demand for the metal remains high.

The company also named CFO-designate Swayam Saurabh as its chief financial officer, who will take up the role on June 1.

($1 = 83.3129 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)