The Kolkata-headquartered ITC Ltd had posted a profit of Rs 2,051.85 crore in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Net sales rose 13.05 per cent to Rs 8,623.11 crore from Rs 7,627.07 crore.
Earnings from the company's FMCG business, including cigarettes, climbed 20.52 per cent to Rs 2,662.99 crore while net sales increased to Rs 6,193.89 crore.
ITC's cigarettes brands, including 'Classic' and 'Gold Flake,' registered a gain of 18.76 per cent in earnings at Rs 2,652.64 crore on net sales of Rs 4,116.07 crore.
The company recorded an 18.98 per cent increase in its agri business profit at Rs 205.40 crore on net sales of Rs 1,786.37 for the third quarter, driven by higher realisation and superior mix.
Earnings from the company's other FMCG business, including branded packaged foods, turned positive at Rs 10.35 crore compared with a net loss of 23.98 crore in the same period of the previous financial year.
The hospitality business posted a profit of Rs 62.20 crore on net sales of Rs 315.44 crore.
ITC's paperboards, paper and packaging business earned Rs 231.69 crore on revenue of Rs 1,257.43 crore.
Shares of ITC traded at Rs 325.45 on the BSE in late afternoon trade, down 0.08 per cent.
Riwtik Rai, FMCG Analyst, Kotak Securities
ITCs results have come in ahead of our expectations, on revenues as well as profits. Cigarette revenue growth is in-line with our expectations, and we believe volume de-growth has softened since last quarter, to about 2-2.5%. Relative to our estimates, ITC has posted stronger revenues in the agri and paperboards business. Cigarette margins have remained strong, registering 3.3 percentage point gain approximately (PBIT/ gross sales basis). Along with margin improvements in the hotels and non-cigarette FMCG segment, strength in cigarette margins have helped surprise us positively on operating profits.
We view the results posted by ITC positively; however, we continue to think that valuations of ITC (27X PER FY15E) are stretched given growth prospects.
ITC Ltd Q3 net profit up 16 pct, in line with forecast
(Reuters) India's largest cigarette maker, ITC Ltd, posted a 16 per cent jump in quarterly net profit on Friday, in line with market expectations.
ITC, India's third most valuable company, said its net profit rose to 23.85 billion rupees ($387.4 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from 20.5 billion rupees a year earlier.
Analysts had expected a 15 percent rise in earnings to 23.6 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.