The Weekend Leader - ITC net profit up 18.7% to Rs 3,481.9 cr in Q4

ITC net profit up 18.7% to Rs 3,481.9 cr in Q4



FMCG major ITC Ltd on Monday reported a 18.7 per cent rise in its net profit to Rs 3,481.9 crore in the fourth quarter of financial year 2018-19 (FY19), compared to Rs 2,932.71 crore in the year-ago period.

Gross revenue for the quarter stood at Rs 12,064.15 crore, representing a growth of 12.7 per cent driven mainly by its agri business, hotels and paperboards.

The board of directors recommended an ordinary dividend of Rs 5.75 per share for the year ended on March 31, 2019. In the previous year, the company announced an ordinary dividend of Rs 5.15 per share.

"Total cash outflow in this regard will be Rs 8,497.59 crore including dividend distribution tax of Rs 1,448.88 crore," the company said.

During the entire financial year (FY19), the net profit at Rs 12,464.32 crore registered a growth of 11.1 per cent, it said.

In its cigarettes business, the revenue during the March quarter was at Rs 5,485.92 crore, up from Rs 4,936.45 crore in the year-ago period.

The cigarette major said a "punitive and discriminatory taxation and regulatory regime, together with sharp increase in illegal trade in recent years", continue to pose significant operating challenges to the legal cigarette industry in the country.

The company's FMCG-Others segment during the quarter posted a revenue of Rs 3,273.92 crore growing year-on-year by 7.27 per cent.

After continued sluggishness over the last two years, which witnessed two major economic reforms - demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax, there was "anticipation of significant pick up" in the FMCG industry.

"However, after a promising first half, growth in the second half of the year particularly in the last 3-4 months was muted due to tight liquidity conditions and sluggish rural demand, it said.

Despite the challenging conditions prevailing during the (FY19) year, FMCG-others segment revenue at Rs 12,505.28 crore recorded an increase of 12 per cent on a comparable basis and excluding the impact of ongoing restructuring in lifestyle retailing business.

In the FMCG-others segment, ebitda (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was up 31 per centA to 228 crore, driven by enhanced scale and product mix enrichment, the company said, adding that the segment revenue was "up 10 per cent excluding impact of restructuring of lifestyle retailing business and pipeline calibration in education and stationery products business".

As part of the ongoing restructuring of the lifestyle retailing business, the company divested the John Players' trademark or copyright and its variants in the apparel category along with related goodwill.

In the hotels business, it posted Rs 509.76 crore revenue during the March quarter registering a growth of nearly 25 per cent.

"Segment revenue recorded robust growth driven by increase in average room rates, improvement in occupancy and higher food and beverage revenue from existing hotels and addition of new properties to the portfolio. Improved operating leverage, notwithstanding gestation costs of newer hotels in the portfolio boosted profitability, it said.

Its agri-business posted Rs 2,100.93 crore in the quarter. Market opportunities in wheat and oilseeds along with enhanced focus on value-added portfolio, especially coffee, aqua and spices, were the key growth drivers during the year.

In the business, the company said it would remain "focused on enhancing its presence in the high value-added segment".

Branded frozen prawns and packaged frozen snacks are some of the recent additions in these high value-added segments.

In the paperboards, paper and packaging, segment, revenue for the March quarter was at Rs 1,537.36 crore up substantially from Rs 1,300.81 crore in the year-ago period.

"After a sluggish year in 2017-18 when the industry was affected due to GST transition and ban on sale of liquor in outlets along highways, the domestic paperboard, paper and packaging Industry, witnessed demand recovery across end-user segments, aided by a favourable operating cycle," it added. IANS

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