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ITC net vaults 12% in Q2 as core businesses do well

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, Oct. 24

RIDING on the back of all-round growth in all its core business segments, ITC Ltd today reported a 12 per cent increase in its post-tax profit at Rs 380.5 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2002, as against a net profit of Rs 339.28 crore in the previous corresponding quarter.

The profit-before-tax for the period under review increased by over 17 per cent at Rs 546.98 crore, after adjusting the interest income of Rs 7.55 crore in respect of income-tax refunds. After adjustment of an income-tax credit of Rs 13.07 crore, the profit growth works out to 14.14 per cent, according to the company.

The gross turnover has grown by 15.7 per cent to Rs 2,779 crore (Rs 2,461.91 crore). Net sales for the quarter were at Rs 1,470.30 crore (Rs 1,206.72 crore).

Apart from all-round growth, the official spokesperson noted that there had been a significant increase in agri-exports and paperboards. On the improved show in the agri-business segment, he said ITC continued to leverage the opportunity in non-basmati rice. Total agri-commodity exports of the company touched Rs 300 crore during the quarter, up from Rs 131 crore for the same period last year.

The company, he said, had successfully leveraged its leadership position in the industry to record a revenue growth of 9.7 per cent during the quarter owing to volume growth and better product mix. He pointed out that the cigarette industry continued to be impacted by burgeoning State-level taxes.

He informed that the `e-Choupal' initiative was further ramped up to 1,200 installations covering 6,500 villages. The `e-Choupal' infrastructure, according to him, was being extended to support efficient sourcing of wheat for the branded packaged food segment.

The spokesperson said the profitability in the agri-business segment was somewhat skewed last year on account of the tobacco crop holiday in Andhra Pradesh, which resulted in lower exports.

This year being a normal crop year, the availability and market conditions had both helped in achieving higher profits

On paperboards, paper and packaging, he said while the overall segment revenue grew for the quarter by 13 per cent, sales of value-added paperboards grew by a hefty 36 per cent.

Consequently, the share of value-added paperboards in net sales increased to 43 per cent during the half-year (35 per cent in the same period previous year).

He informed that the operating profits from paperboards grew by 19 per cent during the quarter. He said the new pulp mill had already undergone successful trial runs, and commercial operations were expected to commence shortly.

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