ITC Ltd on Friday reported a 23.09 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 5,070.09 crore for the third quarter ended December 2022, helped by growth momentum across its operating segments.
The diversified company had posted a net profit of Rs 4,118.80 crore during the October-December quarter of the previous fiscal, ITC said in a regulatory filing.
Its revenue from operations was up 3.56 per cent to Rs 19,020.65 crore during the quarter under review, as against Rs 18,365.80 crore in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
"The company sustained its strong growth momentum across all operating segments during the quarter driven by focus on accelerated digital adoption, customer centricity, execution excellence and agility," ITC said in its earnings statement.
Economic activity in India continued to gather momentum with "sequential moderation in commodity inflation" even as core inflation remained elevated.
"Rural demand continued to be relatively subdued while improving sequentially.
"Consumer sentiments improved during the quarter but remained below pre-pandemic levels," said the Kolkata-headquartered company.
Total expenses were at Rs 12,772.27 crore, down 3.29 per cent in Q3/FY 2021-22, as against Rs 13,207.28 crore in the year-ago period.
During the quarter, revenue from the "total FMCG" segment, which also includes cigarettes, was up 16.96 per cent to Rs 12,934.67 crore.
It was Rs 11,058.26 crore in Q3 FY22.
Revenue from the cigarette business climbed 16.19 per cent to Rs 8,085.72 crore in the October-December quarter of this fiscal. It was Rs 6,958.79 crore in the year-ago period.
PBIT (Pre-tax profit) of the segment was up 16.9 per cent YoY. This was led by "stability in taxes on Cigarettes, backed by deterrent actions by enforcement agencies, enabling continued volume recovery from illicit trade," said ITC.
Revenue from the FMCG-others segment was also up 18.28 per cent to Rs 4,848.95 crore as against Rs 4,099.47 crore.
ITC's FMCG-others segment consists of branded packaged foods such as staples, snacks, meals, dairy and beverages, apparel, education and stationery products, personal care products, safety matches and incense sticks.
This was led by strong growth in staples, biscuits, noodles, snacks, dairy, beverages and frozen foods.
Its stationery sales witnessed strong growth. Segment EBITDA margin was at 10 per cent amidst elevated commodity prices.
"The FMCG businesses witnessed strong growth across channels and markets (both urban and rural) driven by a ramp-up in outlet coverage, enhanced penetration and superior last mile execution.
"Overall, input costs remained elevated even as some commodities witnessed sequential moderation in prices," said ITC.
FMCG businesses continued to drive improvement in profitability through multi-pronged interventions such as cost management, premiumisation, supply chain agility, judicious pricing actions, fiscal incentives, leveraging digital and optimising channel assortments, it added.
Revenue from ITC's hotels segment jumped 49.19 per cent to Rs 739.32 crore from Rs 495.53 crore in Q3 FY22.
Its RevPAR (Revenue per available room) was ahead of pre-pandemic levels driven by retail (packages), leisure, weddings and MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) segments.
"Domestic business travel normalised while inbound foreign travel also witnessed pickup; this augurs well for the company's portfolio that comprises a relatively higher salience of business hotels.
"Special occasions and festivals were effectively leveraged to drive demand," it said.
However, ITC's agribusiness revenue was down 35.91 per cent to Rs 3,305.21 crore as it was impacted by restrictions on wheat and rice exports.
It was Rs 5,157.36 crore in the October-December quarter of the last fiscal.
The segment's PBIT was up 32.6 per cent, "driven by growth in leaf tobacco exports and value-added agri products."
Revenue from "paperboards, paper and packaging'' segment was at Rs 2,305.54 crore, up 12.65 per cent from Rs 2,046.48 crore earlier.
"Segment Revenue growth driven by higher realisations in domestic and export market," said ITC, adding that the segment's margin improvement was driven by higher realisations and strategic interventions.
Revenue from other segments, which includes its information technology services, branded residences etc, was up 18.30 per cent to Rs 856.91 crore as against Rs 724.33 crore in Q3 FY22.
Meanwhile, in a separate filing, ITC said its board on Friday declared an interim dividend of Rs 6 per share of Rs 11 each for FY23.
The board has also appointed Peter Rajatilakan Chittaranjan as an additional non-executive director, representing the General Insurers' (Public Sector) Association of India.
Shares of ITC Ltd on Friday settled at Rs 380.50 on BSE, up 0.50 per cent from the previous close.