Missing street estimates, diversified conglomerate ITC on Thursday reported a 1.31 per cent year-on-year fall in its standalone net profit to ₹5,020.20 crore for the fourth quarter last fiscal, as it witnessed a muted revenue growth of 2.02 per cent y-o-y during the period.

The cigarette-to-soap maker posted a net profit of ₹5,086.86 crore for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2022-23. Gross revenue for the January-March quarter of the financial year 2023-24 increased to ₹17,571.72 crore from ₹17,224 crore for the previous fiscal period, largely in line with analysts’ estimates.

According to a stock exchange filing, the company’s total expenses during the quarter under review rose 2.45 per cent year over year to ₹12,017.71 crore.

ITC, in its media statement, said consumption demand remained subdued in Q4FY24. During the quarter, the cigarettes segment witnessed the consolidation of volumes on a high base after a period of sustained growth momentum, while the non-cigarette FMCG segment posted a “resilient performance” amidst a marked slowdown in consumption.

The company said its gross revenue, excluding the Agri-business segment, was up 6 per cent year-on-year. The Agri-business segment was impacted by trade restrictions on agri commodities.

During the quarter, revenue from the company’s cigarette business rose 7.73 per cent y-o-y at ₹7,924.84 crore, while operating profit from the segment increased 4.99 per cent y-o-y at ₹4,923.31 crore during the period. The country’s largest cigarette maker said the segment witnessed sequential net revenue and PBIT growth of 5.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively.

During Q4FY24, the non-cigarette FMCG business registered a 7.18 per cent y-o-y growth in its revenue to ₹5,300.17 crore, while the segment posted a 4.86 per cent y-o-y fall in operating profit at ₹477.25 crore during this period. The company said the segment PBIT was up 15 per cent on a comparable basis (base quarter included certain fiscal incentives like PLI benefits pertaining to previous periods), and margins expanded 60 basis points y-o-y on the comparable basis.

Hotels segment revenue rose 14.86 per cent y-o-y at ₹897.91 crore, while operating profit from the segment increased 33.80 per cent y-o-y at ₹267.07 crore during the period under review. Segment revenue and PBIT were up 15 per cent and 34 per cent y-o-y, respectively, on a high base. Segment EBITDA margin was up 340 bps y-o-y at 38.2 per cent for the quarter.

“The Hotels segment delivered stellar performance, clocking record highs in revenue and profits. Strong growth in RevPar was driven by retail, MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibition) and marquee events hosted in the country,” ITC said in its statement.

On the progress of the proposed demerger of the hotel business, the company said that after obtaining no objection from stock exchanges, the scheme of arrangement for demerger was filed with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The NCLT has directed convening a meeting of ITC shareholders on June 6 to consider and approve the scheme.

The company’s Agribusiness segment revenue fell 13.35 per cent y-o-y at ₹3,100.73 crore, and operating profit from the segment also decreased by 34.03 per cent y-o-y at ₹202.55 crore during the fourth quarter of FY24. “Geopolitical tensions and climate emergencies have led to concerns over food security and food inflation globally. To ensure India remains food secure, the government has had to impose trade restrictions on agri-commodities; consequently limiting business opportunities for the Agri business,” it said.

ITC’s board recommended a final dividend of ₹7.50 per share. The company’s scrip ended the day at ₹441.20 apiece, up 0.33 per cent from the previous close.