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ITC net up 21% in third quarter on robust sales
The Hindu Business Line - 19 Jan 2013

FMCG major ITC Ltd posted 21 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 2,052 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2012, against Rs 1,701 crore during the same period last year.

Net sales grew by 23 per cent to Rs 7,627 crore from Rs 6,195 crore.

According to V. Srinivasan, research analyst, FMCG - Angel Broking, the higher profits have been spurred by an all-round growth across its various sectors including cigarette, non-cigarette FMCG and agri-business segments.

On a sequential basis, profits increased by 12 per cent from Rs 1,836 crore during the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

Shares of ITC closed at Rs 287.05, up by 0.67 per cent on the BSE on Friday.

While the volume growth in cigarettes has been about 1.5 per cent, the margins from the segment has increased by about 400 basis points, said a report by Motilal Oswal Securities.

"Their new cigarette launch - 64 mm segment - is shaping well and the company intends to expand to other category," the report said.

Non-cigarette FMCG

Revenues from FMCG business stood at Rs 5,440 crore with the cigarettes category accounting for Rs 3,657 crore.

During the quarter under review, ITC managed to trim losses from the FMCG business to Rs 24 crore, against a loss of Rs 47 crore during the same period last year.

"The company is close to achieving break even in their FMCG business in the next two to three quarters," Srinivasan said. The growth in agri-business division was aided by exports of wheat, leaf tobacco and soya, the release said.