ITC Ltd, India's largest cigarette maker, beat market forecasts with a 20 percent jump in quarterly net profit.
ITC, India's fifth most valuable company at about $35 billion, said on Thursday its net profit rose to Rs1602 crore ($285.23 million) for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30 from Rs1330 crore a year earlier.
Analysts had expected ITC to report a net profit of Rs 1,581 crore, on revenue of Rs 6,685 crore, according to CNBC- TV18 estimates.
Its quarterly net sales were up 15 percent from a year ago to Rs 6,652 crore.
The company's cigarette sales jumped 15 percent at Rs 3,304 crore against Rs 2,873.5 crore last year, beating estimates of 12 percent growth. The strong growth was on the back of price hikes. Margins stood at 31 percent.
The non-cigarette or other FMCG sales were up 23 percent to Rs 1,473 crore. Hotel revenues were flat. Hotel net sales were up 0.9 percent to Rs 232 crore, while profit halved to Rs 26 crore in April-June.
"ITC numbers are broadly in line. Key positive were losses in FMCG business and margin improvement in FMCG business even after duty high impact argues well. Expect company to sustain margin in cigarette business and FMCG to start contributing to bottom line," said Rikesh Parikh, VP-markets strategy and equities, Motilal Oswal Securities.
ITC shares were up 0.10 percent at Rs 254.80 in afternoon trade.