Diversified group ITC on Friday reported a modest 3.65 per cent increase in its standalone net profit at Rs. 2,361.18 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2015 owing to muted growth in cigarette business and decline in agri segment revenue.
The Kolkata-headquartered firm had posted a net profit of Rs. 2,278.01 crore in the January-March quarter of 2013-14.
Net sales rose marginally by 0.47 per cent to Rs. 9,188.25 crore in the quarter under review from Rs. 9,145.14 crore in the year-ago period, ITC said in a BSE filing.
Revenue from the total FMCG business including cigarettes increased by 6 per cent to Rs. 6,777.21 crore, from Rs. 6,393.29 crore in the corresponding quarter in 2013-14.
During the quarter, revenue from cigarettes increased by 3.23 per cent to Rs. 4,210.7 crore, from Rs. 4,078.78 crore in the corresponding quarter in 2013-14.
Revenue from ITC’s non-cigarette FMCG business grew by 10.88 per cent to Rs. 2,566.51 crore, compared with Rs. 2,314.51 crore in the same period last year.
“The company delivered another year of steady performance in the backdrop of continuing sluggishness in the macro-economic environment, exacerbated by a steep increase in taxes/duties on cigarettes which led to unprecedented pressure on legal cigarette industry sales volumes,” ITC said in a statement.
It further said: “The company also had to contend with start-up costs relating to the launch of new products and categories in the non-cigarette FMCG segment, input cost pressures in the paperboards, paper and packaging businesses and a weak pricing environment in the hotels business.”
ITC’s revenue from hotels business grew by 8.08 per cent to Rs. 346.42 crore, from Rs. 320.51 crore in the corresponding quarter in 2013-14.
During the quarter, revenue from agri business fell by 28.75 per cent to Rs. 1,427.89 crore, while that from paperboards, paper and packaging business declined by 4.64 per cent to Rs. 1,202.58 crore.
In the 2014-15 fiscal, the company reported net profit of Rs. 9,607.73 crore as against Rs. 8,785.21 crore in the same period a year ago.
Net sales for the year stood at Rs. 36,083.21 crore as against Rs. 32,882.56 crore in the previous fiscal.
In a separate filing, the company said that its board has recommended a dividend of Rs. 6.25 per share for the financial year ended March 31, 2015.