United Spirits' Q3 profit quadruples to Rs 148 crore

United Spirits Ltd (USL), the country's top liquor maker and the world's second-largest by sales volume, has reported a near four-fold rise in fiscal third quarter net profit to Rs147.7 crore, compared to Rs37.23 crore during the year-ago quarter.

United Spirits, now owned by Dieago of the UK, said the jump in net profit to Rs147.7 crore for the third quarter ended 31 December was due mainly to lower finance costs in the latest quarter compared with exceptional expense in the corresponding period last year

Total income from operations rose 6.1 per cent to Rs7,082 crore.

"We have delivered a strong net sales growth of 6 per cent despite the subdued economic environment in the third quarter due to de-monetisation. Although our third quarter net sales growth of 3 per cent has been directly impacted by de-monetization, I am pleased that we have been able to manage through this period better than our initial expectations," CEO Anand Kripalu said in a statement.

The growth was underpinned by the company's continued focus on value addition for premiumisation and increased investments in its power brands. "In line with our strategy to selectively participate in the popular segment we have entered into agreements to franchise selected popular brands in Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar and Kerala effective from January," he added.

Finance costs came down to Rs92 crore from Rs107 crore. The largest spirits maker in India reported a one-time expense of Rs42 crore in the previous year.