United Spirits to exit manufacturing, exports from Bihar

Liquor maker United Spirits Ltd said it will look to exit from all manufacturing and related activities from Bihar in the ''medium term'' as well as scrap its plans to export from the state.

The comments by the Diageo Plc-owned company come nearly two months after the Bihar government decided to impose a total ban on alcohol in the state (See: Liquor stocks wilt as Bihar decides to go dry from 1 April). ''Our medium term intent is to actually exit the state of Bihar for all manufacturing and related activities,'' Anand Kripalu, managing director and chief executive of USL said in a conference call on Wednesday.

He said that USL's other plants are self-sufficient and there were no capacity-related issues, which would help move out operations without slowing down production.

''Maybe we won't even plan to export from Bihar,'' Kripalu said.

The company, which is slowly emerging out of the shadow of alleged financial irregularities under its previous management led by beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya, has had to deal with multiple prohibition calls in other states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala among others in the recent past.

Kripalu said that if there was any activity like reprocessing or export of the existing stock of Bihar, it would be a one-time activity but not on a sustained basis.

USL had announced a stellar first quarter performance as it reported a 277 per cent rise in net profit to Rs43.80 crore for the quarter ended 30 June from Rs11.60 crore in the corresponding period last year.