Indian Hotels Company and ITC, which until last week controlled a quarter of the country's branded hotel room inventory, will find it difficult to retain their stranglehold as Marriott and Starwood mount pressure after their merger.
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ITC on Friday reported a decline in revenue and almost flat growth in net profit for the September quarter, with a drop in cigarette volume sales and slow consumer demand in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.
Cigartte-to-hotel-FMCG major ITC's July-September quarter earnings missed analysts' expectations on Friday with profit rising to Rs 2,431 crore from Rs 2,425 crore in year-ago period, impacted by slow revenue growth in cigarette business.
There is an anecdote about Modern Foods, the Hindustan Unilever bread and bakery division, which was recently acquired by Nimman Foods, an Everstone-controlled company, for an undisclosed consideration.
The government’s stakes in Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL)-Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd (Balco), Axis Bank, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), and ITC have been part of its disinvestment plans for years, though hardly ever has any sale been carried out.
The quality concerns related to the noodles in the country has become a lesson that the infrastructure also has to be strengthened with the policy decisions of the government, said Y C Deveshwar, chairman of ITC Group.
Punitive tax regimes for cigarettes have proved a bane for ITC in the past. A sharp rise in duties in recent years has been no different. Duties have been increased by 15 per cent in each of the past four Budgets.
Profit margins of most paper producers remained under pressure in the first quarter of the current financial year, due to sustained rise in cheaper import from China and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).