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ITC second quarter net profit jumps 21.5%
The Times of India - 25 Oct 2011

Tobacco-to-hotels major ITC has witnessed a 21.5% jump in the second quarter profit due to better performance of paper & paperboard, agri and cigarette business. It has posted a net profit of Rs 1514 crore in the second quarter of this fiscal compared to Rs 1246 crore during the corresponding period of last fiscal.

The new FMCG business of ITC has also continued to cut down losses. Due to slowdown in economy, the hotels business has managed a marginal growth in net profit. The turnover has grown by 17.5% to Rs 5974 crore from Rs 5083 crore during the quarter.

According to ITC officials, the branded packaged foods business continued to expand rapidly with sales and profitability improving across categories during the quarter. The new FMCG segment as a whole witnessed a jump in turnover to Rs 1345 crore. It has also reduced losses to Rs 55.90 crore from 66 crore. The new FMCG business of ITC includes, personal care products, branded packaged food, lifestyle retailing, education and stationary etc.

“During the quarter, Sunfeast biscuits category continued to grow significantly, especially in the value-added and premium end,” ITC officials added. The paperboard business witnessed healthy growth in segment revenue during the quarter with segment results growing at a faster pace at 18% to Rs 289 crore. “The company continued to leverage its integrated business model viz, access to high-quality fibre, in-house pulp mill and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. The new paperboard line at Bhadrachalam, with a capacity of 1 lakh tonnes per annum, is progressing as per schedule,” the officials said.

The agri business posted a strong performance during the quarter with segment revenues and segment profits growing by 13% and 15% respectively. The performance was primarily driven by higher trading volumes and improved realizations in soya and wheat.