ITC profit up 9.9%

Thursday, 17 May, 2018

Diversified group ITC Ltd on Wednesday reported 9.86 percent increase in standalone net profit at Rs 2,932.71 crore for the fourth quarter ended on 31 March, 2018, driven mainly by non-cigarette FMCG and hospitality businesses. However, revenue surged by 9.86% versus Rs 9,952.19 crore of preceding quarter.

The rise in operating profit, as indicated by earnings before interest, depreciation and taxes, has gone up 7% to Rs 4,144 crore, with a corresponding rise in margins to 39.1% from 34.8% on the back of a 38% drop in expenses to Rs 6,996.46 crore from Rs 11,363.78 crore.

A Reuters poll of analysts estimated net profit growth of 6.36 percent to Rs 2,839 crore.

On a comparable basis, gross sales during the quarter stood at Rs 17,933.48 crore, representing a growth of 3.5 per cent, over Rs 17,315.75 crore in the corresponding period of 2016-17.

Revenue from the sale of cigarettes dropped by almost 45 per cent to Rs 4,936 crore (Rs.8,955 crore).

The company said the punitive and discriminatory taxation and the regulatory regime continues to exert severe pressure on the domestic legal cigarette industry even as illegal cigarette trade has been growing unabated.

Revenue from FMCG-Others segment was at Rs 3,051.82 crore during January-March quarter.

ITC said it was making progress on the construction of hotels in Hyderabad, Calcutta and Ahmedabad and WelcomHotels in Guntur and Bhubaneshwar.

The ITC board has also re-designated Sanjiv Puri, Chief Executive Officer and Wholetime Director, as the Managing Director of the company with effect from May 16.

The board has recommended a dividend of Rs 5.15 per share on face value of Rs 1 each for financial year ended March 31.

Paper business did marginally better with profits going up from Rs 240.17 crore to Rs 242.42 crore as input costs remain benign, higher substitution of imported pulp with in-house production and continued focus on product mix.

ITC shares closed at Rs 285.95 on the BSE, up 1.47 per cent over the previous close.