Kolkata: ITC's net turnover for the quarter ended 31 December 2002 grew by 12.2 per cent to Rs 1,468 crore on the back of an all-round growth in all its businesses, particularly in agri and fast-moving consumer goods segments.
The post-tax profit for the quarter registered an impressive growth of 21.8 per cent to touch Rs 323.51 crore. Earnings per share for the quarter stood at Rs 13.07.
The domestic cigarette industry continues to be impacted by burgeoning state-level taxes. The company leveraged its leadership position in the industry to record a revenue growth of 5.7 per cent during the quarter driven by improved product mix.
The lifestyle retailing business expanded its product range with the introduction of the international quality Wills Classic range of formal work wear. The business also launched the distinctive John Players range of Menswear targeted at the mid-price segment. While the initial launch covered several markets in Karnataka, plans are under way to rapidly scale up market coverage. Initial consumer response has been very encouraging.
The two-year old greeting cards business, which recorded its highest sales during the current quarter, has already garnered an impressive market share of 15 per cent.
The company's branded packaged foods business continues to expand rapidly. In the branded atta segment, the Aashirvaad range was launched across South India and now covers 26 markets. In the confectionery segment, the rollout of Mint-o and Candyman to all 10-lakh plus and 5-lakh plus markets was completed during the quarter.
The business also made an entry into the snack foods and biscuits segment with the introduction of its unique Bischips snack in three exciting variants. Product development is under way to further expand the company's range of value-added products across segments.
During the quarter, the safety matches business introduced seven variants of matches in unique pack styles and designs. Product coverage was expanded to 10 markets during the quarter.
Almost all of ITC's new initiatives in the FMCG sector are modelled on outsourcing production from small and medium enterprises. The company aims to enhance the competitiveness of the small- and medium-scale sectors through its complementary research and development-based product development and marketing strengths, especially the breadth and depth of the company's trade marketing and distribution.
The hotel industry witnessed a significant improvement in market conditions during the quarter. The ITC Maurya Sheraton, New Delhi, and the ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton, Mumbai, registered impressive occupancies and revenues during the period.
The inauguration of the ITC Sonar Bangla at Kolkata on 31 December 2002 marked the soft launch of the hotel. Its unmatched ambience, which combines the best features of a resort with the contemporary functionalities of a business hotel, has drawn widespread accolades from all quarters. Construction of the company's hotel at Upper Worli, Mumbai, is progressing.
Paperboards, paper and packaging
The overall segment revenue grew by an impressive 17 per cent. The share of value-added products in total paperboard sales stands at 43 per cent. Operating profits from paperboards grew by 39 per cent during the quarter.
The new pulp mill has commenced commercial operations. In line with its strategy to grow sales of international quality value-added products, the division commissioned a poly-extrusion facility during the quarter.
During the quarter, the specialty paper division was integrated with the paperboards division to realise strategic and operational synergies.
The company continued to leverage the opportunity in non-basmati rice. Total agri-commodity exports touched Rs 237 crore during the quarter (Rs 172 crore same period last year). The e-Choupal initiative was further ramped up to over 1,450 installations covering nearly a million farmers.
The board of directors took on record the enclosed results for the quarter ended 31 December 2002 at its meeting held on 17 January 2003.