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FMCG biz set to break even: ITC chief
The Hindu - 27 Jul 2013

Diversified FMCG major ITC has set for itself a target of achieving a turnover of Rs.1,00,000 crores from its brands in new FMCG businesses by 2025-30 emerging as India's No. 1 player in the FMCG sector, excluding its cigarette business.

Stating this while addressing shareholders at the company's 102 annual meeting here on Friday ITC Chairman Y. C. Deveshwar later admitted at a pressmeet that this was an audacious aspiration.

"It may not come in my lifetime.. but I would like to put the company on its course," he said.

He said that ITC had built a lot of brands, of which, some are market leaders garnering consumer spends of Rs.1,000 crore. He said that developing sustainable domestic brands also help in combating problems such as outflow of foreign exchange, through trade in goods and services. "Amount of outflow through brands is also large and exacerbates the current account deficit, in tandem with population growth," he said. This was due to our dependence on foreign brands.

He said that ITC's non-cigarette business at Rs.19,500 crore in 2012-13, had grown 15 times since 1996. The non-cigarette FMCG was now nearing break-even (it made a profit in the fourth quarter of 2012-13), and was set to begin contributing from next fiscal, Mr. Deveshwar said

He said that ITC's growth had been impacted by its inability to hasten up the project implementation. Some 40 projects involving an investment of over Rs.25,000 crore across various segments were being implemented. "However, they are getting delayed due to land and clearance issues.. every project is delayed."

ITC invested Rs.2,000 crore last fiscal and is planning to invest Rs.6,000 crore this year across hotels, paper, agri business, FMCG and IT. It is working on a 1.8 million sq ft. IT project in Bangalore and would like 50 acres in West Bengal's Rajarhat for an IT project. It recently got possession of a land that it had applied for in 2003 for a food business project in West Bengal.