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ITC profit rises 23% on agri, paperboard performance
The Times of India - 21 Jan 2012

Tobacco, FMCG to hospitality giant ITC has posted a 22.5% growth in net profit in the third quarter of this fiscal on better profitability in agri, paperboard and tobacco business.

The net profit has gone up from Rs 1389 crore in the quarter ended December 31, 2010 to Rs 1700 crore in the corresponding quarter of this fiscal. Agri business has registered a jump in profit to Rs 141 crore from Rs 129 crore while paperboard saw a huge jump in bottomline to Rs 224 crore in Q3 of 2011-12 from Rs 191 crore in the same quarter of last fiscal.

New FMCG businesses continued to reduce losses and the figure almost halved to Rs 46 crore from Rs 73 crore in the last fiscal. The turnover at Rs 6195 crore grew 14.2% from Rs 5424 crore driven primarily by branded packaged foods, personal care, agri and cigarettes businesses.

ITC has said that the branded packaged foods business continued to grow rapidly driven by further premiumisation of the portfolio, higher volumes and improved profitability. “The business achieved significant growth in revenues aided by new launches and introduction of product variants and extensions in target markets. Improvement in profitability was further aided by improvements in product and process efficiencies and smart sourcing,” it added. According to ITC, the personal care products business’ offerings under the ‘Essenza Di Wills’, ‘Fiama Di Wills’, ‘Vivel’ and ‘Superia’ brands continued to gain consumer franchise with revenues growing significantly during the quarter. The business continued to launch new products that delivered various consumer benefits in the soaps, shampoos and skin care categories.

Commenting on the hotel industry, ITC officials said that with a lower level of demand on the one hand and significant additions to supply in key markets on the other, the hospitality industry in India is witnessing challenging times. “During the quarter, the hotels business posted a topline of Rs 311 crore and improved its profits by 15% to Rs 102 crore,” an official added.

In paperboard business, the company continued to leverage its integrated business model like access to high-quality fibre, in-house pulp mill and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a robust forward linkage with the education and stationery products business to further consolidate its leadership position in the Indian Paper and Paperboards industry.