By Pragya Bhardwaj, Research Analyst at CNBC-TV18
India's largest cigarettes maker ITC's second quarter net profit rose better-than-expected 21% year-on-year to Rs 1,836 crore, helped especially by strong growth in its other fast moving consumer goods and agri business, sending its shares up to a new 52-week high.
Net sales for July-Sep were up 20% to Rs 7,146 crore, the company said on Friday.
Analysts on average were expecting ITC to report a net profit of Rs 1,758 crore on revenue of Rs 6,893 crore in the three-months period.
The Kolkata-based company continues to see robust growth in its core cigarettes and other FMCG business, which includes processed foods and personal care products.
In the second quarter, its gross cigarette sales were up 17% to Rs 6,419 crore and other FMCG sales surged 26% to Rs 1,700 crore. Losses in other FMCG business also reduced to Rs 30 crore from Rs 56 crore.
However, the hotels business, where the industry as such has been hit by a slowdown over the last one year, continues to be a drag.
Gross sales in hotels were up just 3% at Rs 217 crore last quarter and profit slumped to Rs 15 crore from Rs 43 crore.
Among ITC's other businesses, agri-business sales jumped 41% to Rs 2,024 crore in July-Sep and paper boards, paper and packaging sales were up 6% to Rs 1,122 crore.
Quarterly profit from agri business was up 9% to Rs 260 crore, but paper boards, paper and packaging profit slipped 2% to Rs 283 crore.