Diversified conglomerate ITC Ltd. reported first-quarter profit rose 10% to Rs. 2,818.7 crore, helped by a sharp increase in profitability at the company’s non-cigarette fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) business.

Total revenue from operations at Rs. 10,874.6 crore in the April-June period was lower than Rs. 13,800.4 crore a year earlier. The company said that the figures were not comparable in view of the recast of indirect taxes.

While profits were driven by “robust performance across most segments, steep escalation in tax incidence under GST regime continues to weigh on FMCG-cigarettes performance,” ITC said in a statement.

The FMCG-others segment, which includes food and personal care products, witnessed an 86% jump in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) to Rs. 127.8 crore, driven by enhanced scale, enriched product-mix and improved cost management measures, it said.

Room rates, F&B boost

Results at the hotels business improved through higher room rates and strong F&B sales. The 271-room luxury hotel ITC Kohenur, in Hyderabad, was commissioned on June 1 and had received “excellent initial response”, the company said. Construction of new hotels at Kolkata, Ahmedabad and WelcomeHotels in Guntur and Bhubaneswar was progressing.

The paperboards, paper and packaging segment saw a 15% increase in profit, driven by strategic investments in imported pulp substitution, improved pulp yield and higher realisation through better product mix.

In its agribusiness, ITC leveraged market opportunities in oil seeds, rice, spices and coffee resulting in robust business growth during the quarter to Rs. 3,151.3 crore, from Rs. 2,760.5 crore, even as the tobacco operations of the business hemmed in segment profits.

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