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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

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IHCL to revamp airline catering unit

MUMBAI: Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) has informed that a proposal for restructuring its airline catering division -- including a potential joint venture -- would be looked into at the company's upcoming board meeting of July 18.

When contacted, a senior IHCL official said of the joint venture possibility, ``This is not necessarily final. Air catering was getting increasingly complex and IHCL would like to preserve its dominant market share in the business''.

The company, through its airline catering arm -- Taj Air Catering -- has at present an estimated 55 per cent market share. The division maintains a presence at all the major metros.

However, she declined to speculate on what type of partner IHCL --itself a hotel major -- would potentially seek in airline catering. What is being looked into are essentially restructuring options to help the division maintain its leadership position in the market, she said.

IHCL had a sales and operating income of Rs 687.50 crore in 2000-2001. In the same fiscal, its air catering arm earned Rs 110.96 crore, up from the previous year's Rs 88.39 crore.

``Air catering and F&B contributed significantly to results,'' the company had said in a presentation to analysts on its 2000-2001 results, last month. -- Our Bureau

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