ITC Q1 profit rises 15.6%; revenue beats estimates, up 25%

ITC gifCigarette-to-hotel-to-FMCG major ITC reported a 15.6 percent year-on-year growth in net profit at Rs 2,186.4 crore in first quarter (April-June), which was lower than street expectations but aided by strong revenue growth in cigarette, agri and paper businesses. Net sales grew 24.9 percent, stronger-than-expected, to Rs 9,164.4 crore in the quarter ended June 2014 compared to Rs 7,339 crore in corresponding quarter of last fiscal.

Revenue from its cigarette business (under FMCG category), which contributes more than 45 percent to total revenue of the company, reported a 18.8 percent growth at Rs 4,201 crore. FMCG others (which included packaged foods, apparel, stationery products, personal care products and agarbattis) grew by 10.9 percent year-on-year at Rs 1,934.61 crore in the quarter gone by.

Agri business revenue during the quarter (which covers commodities such as soya, spices, coffee and leaf tobacco) reported a massive 50.6 percent growth at Rs 3,296.1 crore and revenue from paperboards, paper and packaging business grew by 11.7 percent at Rs 1,288 crore compared to the year-ago period.

However, only hotels business posted a marginal decline in revenue at Rs 248.7 crore during the quarter compared to Rs 249.9 crore in corresponding quarter of last fiscal. Operating profit (EBITDA) of the company increased by 17.5 percent, in-line, on yearly basis to Rs 3,194 crore but margin dropped 230 basis points (more than expected) to 34.8 percent in first quarter of current financial year 2014-15 impacted by higher expenses and tax cost. Analysts had estimated operating profit at Rs 3,221 crore and margin at 38 percent for the quarter.