ITC Ltd. (ITC), Asia’s second-biggest tobacco company by market value, reported fourth-quarter profit climbed 19 percent as cigarette sales increased.
Net income for the maker of Wills cigarettes and Bingo snacks rose to 19.3 billion rupees ($352 million) in the three months ended March from 16.1 billion rupees a year earlier, the Kolkata-based company said in a statement. That compares with the 19 billion-rupee median of 31 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
ITC, which is 31 percent owned by British American Tobacco Plc (BATS), raised some cigarette prices in the quarter after excise taxes were increased in India’s annual budget unveiled in February. Chairman Yogesh Deveshwar has for more than a decade been expanding into businesses such as personal care products, food, apparel and agricultural products to cut dependence on cigarettes.
Net sales increased to 81.8 billion rupees from 68.6 billion rupees. That compares with the 79.9 billion-rupee median of 29 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Shares were little changed at 337.10 rupees as of 1:37 p.m. in Mumbai trading.
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