ITC tastes first non-tobacco profit as Q4 net rises 19% to Rs1,928 crore

Diversified consumer goods major ITC Ltd has reported a 19.42 per cent increase in its fiscal fourth quarter (January-March 2013) net profit at Rs1,927.98 crore, against a net profit of Rs1,614.36 crore for the quarter ended March 2012.

ITC also reported its first profit from non-tobacco FMCG business of Rs11.87 crore during the January-March 2013 quarter against a net loss of Rs16.68 crore during the year-ago quarter.

Net sales during the January-March 2013 quarter rose to Rs8,180.30 crore, compared with Rs6,861.35 crore in the similar quarter of previous fiscal, ITC said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

For the full financial year ended 31 March 2013, ITC reported a 20.38 per cent increase in its net profit at Rs7,418 crore, against a net profit of Rs6,162.37 crore.

Net sales for the fiscal rose to Rs29,605.58 crore, compared to Rs24,798.43 crore in the 2011-12 fiscal.

The board of directors of the company, which met on Friday, recommended a dividend of Rs5.25 per share of Re1 face value each for the financial year ended 31 March 2013.

Kolkata-based ITC, a diversified FMCG company, has interests in business segments including foods, personal care products, education and stationary products, lifestyle retailing and matches besides its traditional cigarette manufacturing.

ITC officials said while its foods business has been making profit for the last few quarters, it was for the first time that the non-tobacco segment as a whole has made a profit after consecutive losses.

ITC's agri business, too, registered a 13.7 per cent increase in net profit.

However, the hotel business continued to lag with profit halving to Rs40.63 crore from Rs82 crore.