ITC Net Grows Over 15% To Rs 1,371 Crore

Kolkata, May 23: | Updated: May 24 2003, 05:30am hrs
The multi-diversified tobacco major ITC Limited on Friday reported a more than 15 per cent growth in its net at Rs 1,371 crore for the fiscal 2002-03 as the companys gross turnover crossed the Rs 11,000 crore mark.

The net profit of the company showed a 15.3 per cent growth on its previous years profit of Rs 1,189 crore, while the turnover jumped from Rs 9,982 crore to Rs 11,025 crore, as per the results announced after a board meeting on Friday.

The pre-tax profit of the company registered an even more impressive growth of nearly 20 per cent at Rs 2,056 crore as the earning per share of the company stood at Rs 55.41.

The ITC board, which met under the chairmanship of YC Deveshwar, announced a dividend of 150 per cent. Though cigarettes continued to be the mainstay of ITC business generating a total revenue of Rs 8,764 crore, in an obvious reference to the high taxation and a recent decision to ban advertisements, the company said in a statement that the operating environment continues to pose an increasing order of challenge, particularly in the spheres of taxation and regulation of consumption and communication.

But despite handicaps the company leveraged its leadership position in the industry to record a revenue growth of 9.3 per cent in its cigarette business during the year, the statement said.

ITC also expressed satisfaction at the other FMCG business spanning apparel, packaged food, greeting cards and stationary, safety matches and incense stick (agarbatti) as the turnover from this touched Rs 109 crore, a five- times jump from the previous years figure.

The company continued its aggressive business strategy in the apparel business and added ten more exclusive Wills Lifestyle stores during the year taking the total to 48 across the country.

The hotels business of ITC Limited was marked by the commissioning of the 250-room ITC Sonar Bangla Hotel in Kolkata during the year as the overall business showed a 19 per cent growth over the previous years figure due to improved business climate in the second half of the year.

The paperboards and speciality paper business also grewby nearly 13 per cent with the total revenue crossing Rs 1,162 crore from Rs 1,031 crore in the previous year.

The year also saw the completion of the integration process of paper business with the Tribeni Tissues Division and the Bhadrachalam Paperboards Divisions integrating into the Paperboards and Speciality Paper division in line with the operating synergies envisaged at the time of amalgamation of the erstwhile ITC Bhadrachalam Ltd with the company.

Despite an oversupply situation in the global leaf tobacco industry and steep devaluation of currencies in the competing countries, the companys export of cigarette leaf tobacco during the year grew by over 18 per cent.

The other agri commodity exports (soya, rice, coffee and marine products) touched Rs 845 crores during the year.