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Saturday, Oct 30, 2004

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Corporate Results - Diversified

ITC Q2 net up 13.5 pc at Rs 486 cr

Our Bureau

Kolkata Oct. 29

ITC Ltd, for the quarter ended September 30, 2004, has recorded an increase of 13.5 per cent in its post-tax profit at Rs 485.69 crore against the Rs 427.27 crore achieved in the corresponding quarter of previous financial year.

The pre-tax profit for the period under review has grown by 10.2 per cent to Rs 687.54 crore (Rs 624.05 crore). The company, in an official release issued here on Friday announcing the second quarter results taken on record by the board at its meeting, put the EPS for the quarter at Rs 19.56.

It is stated that the net turnover for the quarter at Rs 1,737.85 crore (Rs 1,536.25 crore) has shown a growth of 13.1 per cent on the back of growth in cigarette sales, ramp up of new FMCG businesses and improved show by the hotels and paperboards, paper and packaging segments.

The company's PAT for the half year ended September 30, 2004 is placed at Rs 947.68 crore (Rs 825.09 crore). The PBT for the half-year is at Rs 1,362.05 crore (Rs 1,228.19 crore).

Provision for taxation for the quarter (including prior year adjustments) is placed at Rs 201.85 crore (Rs 196.18 crore). Total expenditure has climbed to Rs 1,039.91 crore (Rs 918.15 crore).

Cigarette sales of the company, despite the implementation of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, grew to Rs 2,541.21 crore (Rs 2,284.28 crore).

ITC has pointed out that continued focus on world class quality has enabled it to sustain the leadership position in the industry, which, besides the continuing increase in the State-level taxes, now has to fork out a 2 per cent education cess on excise duties.

The other three core businesses of ITC - agri business, paperboards, paper and packaging (PPP) and hotels - have recorded higher revenues for the quarter. While the agri business segment has shown a marginally higher revenue at Rs 403.01 crore (Rs 402.88 crore), PPP revenues have increased by nearly 28 per cent to Rs 385.46 crore (Rs 302.22 crore). Hotels have shown increased revenues at Rs 68.55 crore (Rs 56.62 crore).

In terms of profits, PPP has recorded a jump at Rs 68.76 crore (Rs 61.73 crore), agri business Rs 47.56 crore (Rs 43.55 crore) and hotels Rs 9.44 crore (Rs 1.53 crore).

According to market analysts, the company was benefiting from higher international paper prices. The PPP segment, according to them, contributes close to 11 per cent of total revenues. According to the company, recent investments in the modern technology in the packaging business have begun delivering substantial savings to the ITC system through in-house manufacture of high-end packaging products.

Capacity in this segment will be further augmented with the 75,000 TPA project at Bhadrachalam, Andhra Pradesh, said to be fast nearing completion.

The agri business division markets agri commodities in export and domestic markets, supplies agri raw materials to the branded packaged foods business and sources leaf tobacco for the cigarettes.

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