Diversified firm posts Q4 standalone PAT of ₹2,932.7 crore; declares dividend of ₹5.15 per share
ITC recorded a 9.9% rise in its fourth-quarter post-tax profit and a 1% rise in its net profit for 2017-18, on a standalone basis, driven by a rise in profits at its FMCG, hotels and paper businesses. The board approved payment of a dividend of ₹5.15 per share.
The board also approved the redesignation of Sanjiv Puri from Chief Executive Officer and whole-time director to Managing Director, subject to the approval of the shareholders, the company said in a separate filing.
Post-tax profit for the quarter stood at ₹2,932.7 crore. Revenue for the quarter was ₹11,329.7 crore, against ₹15,410.9 a year earlier. Full-year PAT stood at ₹11,223.25 crore. Annual revenue for 2017-18 was ₹46,459.6 crore, while it was ₹57,434.4 crore in the previous year. ITC said the revenue figures were not comparable due to the restructuring of indirect taxes. Analysts said the results were broadly in line with their estimates.
Abneesh Roy, senior vice president at Edelweiss Financial, said cigarette volumes declined 1-2% year-on-year. ITC had raised prices in order to offset higher GST rates.
ITC said the results were to be seen in the background of the slowdown in the economy, a steep increase in tax incidence on cigarettes and subdued demand conditions in the FMCG industry.
ITC’s non-cigarette FMCG business recorded a near doubling of profit in the fourth quarter. For the 12 months ended March 31, the profit increased to ₹164.1 crore, from ₹28.1 crore in 2016-17. Mr. Roy said ITC’s FMCG sales growth had been relatively soft compared with competition. He, however, commended the margins.
Hotel segment revenue rose 5.6%, with a 26% rise in annual profit. Revenue was driven mainly by improved average room revenues and ‘robust’ F&B sales.
ITC’s agribusiness was affected due to lack of trading opportunities and the adverse quality of Andhra leaf tobacco crop, the company said in a statement.
The paperboards, paper & packaging segment was impacted by a slowdown in the FMCG and legal cigarette industries, cheap imports and unabsorbed capacity in domestic paperboard industry.
ITC saw an about 5% dip in revenue in this segment but profits rose on the back of richer product mix and higher in-house pulp utilisation (against imported pulp).
ITC shares rose 1.47% to ₹285.95 on the BSE, and 1.6% on the NSE to ₹286.35.