Citing the rub-off effect of the general feel-good factor on the tourism and hospitality industry, the Delhi-based company, a member of the ITC group, said total income increased by 32 per cent in the latest quarter to Rs 44.49 crore, from Rs 33.65 crore in the previous period. For the nine months to December 31, 2003, the company reported a profit after tax of Rs 8.50 crore on an operational income of Rs 106.16 crore, against a loss of Rs 3.75 crore on income of Rs 82.93 crore for the same period of the previous year. In fact, the latest quarters profit after tax is a huge improvement over the Rs 57 lakh PAT reported for the full year to March 31, 2003. For the latest quarter, the growth in expenditure was much less, at 13 per cent to Rs 31.28 crore. The company managed to slash the net interest burden, leaving it with a profit before tax of Rs 10.23 crore for the latest three months against Rs 3.02 crore for the same period of the previous year. Since business has been good, there have been surplus cash flows and we could repay more than Rs 20 crore of loans, a company official told FE. The company said the travel and hospitality industry is on a high-growth curve after two years. Commenting on the industry scenario, ITC Hotels noted that tourist arrivals have increased by 15 per cent and foreign exchange earnings by 23 per cent.