ITC Net Up 12% In Q2

Kolkata, October 24: | Updated: Oct 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
ITC Ltd on Thursday announced a 12 per cent growth in net profit for the second quarter of the current fiscal, with gross income up 15 per cent on the figure for the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

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The cigarettes major said net profit was Rs 380.50 crore during the quarter to September 30, 2002, on gross income of Rs 2,827.84 crore.

ITC classifies the cigarettes business as part of its fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment, which also includes recent forays into branded garments, greeting cards and gifts, and packaged foods. It is also a big player in hotels, paperboards, paper and packaging, and agri-business, although these account for a small part of its own revenues and profits.

Underlying profit before tax grew by 17 per cent, and profit after tax by 14 per cent. These growth rates were computed after adjusting an interest income of Rs 32 crore in the earlier quarter and Rs 7.55 crore in the latest quarter for income-tax (IT) refunds, and of Rs 13 crore by way of IT credit in respect of earlier years.

ITC said profit before tax increased by 11 per cent to Rs 554.53 crore. During the period, ITC made a provision of Rs 174.03 crore for taxation.

The paid-up equity share capital was Rs 247.51 crore and the earnings per share Rs 15.37.

The company said the domestic cigarette industry continued to be impacted by burgeoning state level taxes. The company leveraged leadership position in the industry to record a revenue growth of 9.77 per cent during the quarter on the back of volume growth and better product mix, ITC said.

The lifestyle retailing business has scaled up operations by adding three Wills Lifestyle stores during the quarter. The greetings cards business continued to make progress with market share touching 10 per cent.

On the hotels front, the management said there has been early signs of recovery in September 2002 following the withdrawal of negative travel advisories by various national governments.

This recovery is expected to accelerate with wider availability of travel insurance covers for inbound travellers, it said.

The company said its super-deluxe hotel ITC Sonar Bangla at Kolkata is fast nearing completion and the construction of the hotel at Upper Worli in Mumbai is progressing on schedule.

During the quarter under review, the overall segment revenue of ITCs paperboards, paper and packaging business grew by 13 per cent, within which sales of value-added paperboards grew by 36 per cent.

Consequently, the share of value-added paperboards in net sales increased to 43 per cent during the half year ended September 30, 2002, as compared to 35 per cent recorded during the same period previous year, ITC said.

According to it, operating profits from paperboards grew by 19 per cent during the quarter ended September 30, 2002.

ITC said it has continued to leverage the opportunity in non-basmati rice. Total agri commodity exports touched Rs 300 crore during the quarter under review, against Rs 131 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

The e-Choupal initiative was ramped up to 1,200 installations covering 6,500 villages.