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ITC Ltd Q4 profit up by 27.1 percent

Kolkata, May 21 (IANS) Cigarettes-to-hotels major ITC Ltd posted a net profit after tax of Rs.1,028.22 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 as compared to Rs.808.99 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 — up by 27.1 percent.

The firm’s total income increased from Rs.4038.17 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 to Rs.5,190.81 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2010.

‘The board recommends a total dividend of Rs.10 per share for 2009-10 including a special centenary dividend of Rs.5.50 per share,’ a company statement said here Friday.

The company launched its premium line of hand-rolled cigars in select markets under the brand name ‘Armenteros’.

The company recorded good growth in branded packaged food business of the company, but it said: ‘During the year, the business was adversely impacted by historically high prices of input commodities such as wheat, flour, dairy inputs and sugar.

‘The impact of input cost increases was largely contained through a combination of smart sourcing and increased internal efficiencies, minimising the ‘cost-push’ impact for consumers.’

On the personal care products, it said that the growing demand for its products had been met by added capacity at its plant at Haridwar in Uttarakhand and commissioning a new plant at Manpura in Himachal Pradesh.’

‘Agri business revenues remained flat during the year due to rationalisation of the agri-commodity portfolio necessitated by the increasing policy interventions and volatility in the commodity markets,’ the statement said.

Though these challenging circumstances impacted volume, the business posted impressive growth in margins with profits growing by 70 percent over the previous year, it added.

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