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Britannia spurts on news of buyback

Mumbai, June 13: A day after the marathon meeting of the board of Britannia Industries, the shares of the biscuit major surged on news of a generous buyback of shares.

Britannia said it would buy back 2.5 million shares at a price not exceeding Rs 650 per share, for a total amount not exceeding Rs 78 crore. This is incidentally the company’s second buyback. It has already completed one buyback exercise.

Britannia has posted a net profit of Rs 29.1 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2003, as against Rs 1,3.90 crore in the previous corresponding quarter. The board has also proposed an equity dividend of Rs 10 per equity share for the year ended March 31, 2003.

Britannia shares rose sharply today to touch an intra-day high of Rs 573 from Thursday’s Rs 537.10, before profit taking saw the gains partly surrender. The share finally closed at Rs 545.80, a gain of Rs 8.70.

Meanwhile, the company announced the appointment of John Miller as an additional director. Evidently, he is a replacement for Sunil Alagh, who was controversially ousted as the managing director of the company.

However, the company is yet to make an announcement on who would fill up the vacant managing director’s slot caused by Sunil Alagh’s ouster.

The company has posted a net profit of Rs 99.1 crore in 2002-03, as against Rs 203.2 crore in the previous fiscal. Total Income (net of excise duty) is at Rs 1,328.8 crore for the reporting year as compared with Rs 1,423.1 crore in 2001-02.

However, net sales and other financials are not strictly comparable as the previous year’s figures include numbers for dairy business, which has been transferred to Britannia New Zealand Foods Pvt Ltd.

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