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Tuesday, Oct 29, 2002

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Eveready net up 78 pc

Our Bureau

KOLKATA, Oct. 28

EVEREADY Industries India Ltd, the flagship company of Mr B.M. Khaitan, has registered a 78-per cent growth in net profit while turnover increased 10.45 per cent during the second quarter of 2002-03.

Net profit increased to Rs 36.61 crore in the quarter ended September 30, 2002, from Rs 20.52 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. On a half-yearly basis, it jumped up 164 per cent to Rs 37 crore from Rs 14.02 crore.

While the gross income increased by 10.45 per cent to Rs 280.49 crore (Rs 253.93 crore), net income increased 11 per cent to Rs 258.26 crore (Rs 232.84 crore).

Other income increased to Rs 6.58 crore from Rs 3.08 crore. This is on account of the profits registered by Eveready Industries on account of sale of assets like tea estates, flats and other long-term investments.

Of the net sales, contribution of the tea business was to the tune of 41 per cent (Rs 105.29 crore); the remaining 59 per cent (Rs 152.96 crore) came from the company's FMCG division, which consists of the battery and packet tea business.

Reacting to the results, Mr Deepak Khaitan, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, said the performance was the result of the debt restructuring programme executed by the company. Interest payout in the last quarter dropped by 31 per cent to Rs 20.70 crore from Rs 30.17 crore.

It may be noted that earlier this year, the company successfully negotiated with its lead banker, ICICI Ltd, a debt restructuring programme. Moreover, it was able to pay off a part of its debts during the past six months.

"For the FMCG division, we are ahead of our targets, but I feel that the tea division needs to do much more.

However, tea being a commodity it is difficult to comment on its price movements in the next few months," Mr Khaitan told Business Line.

On whether Eveready Industries would reach the Rs 1,000-crore turnover mark in the current financial year, he said it was too early to say anything on the subject.

However, the company has a huge overdue component, to the extent of Rs 203.40 crore.

It includes loans and advances, interest accrued on loans and other recoverable items.

The management feels this can be taken care by the Rs 100 crore contingency fund, which was created last year.

Another aspect of some interest is the increase in the Khaitan stake. Compared to the corresponding quarter in the last financial year, it increased by 0.52 percentage points to 55.37 per cent.

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