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Britannia aims big

Calcutta, Aug. 9: Britannia Industries Ltd is targeting a 20 per cent growth in turnover during 2010-11 and exploring the possibility of setting up new plants, chairman Nusli Wadia said.

“We are looking at one or two greenfield projects in the coming days,” he said at the company’s annual general meeting here today.

The company will decide on the investment in the greenfield units depending on the location and tax structure in a state, he said.

“It is too premature to say the location. It will be finalised in the next few weeks,” Britannia managing director Vinita Bali said. The company, however, did not specify in which segment it will invest. “Every year we invest around Rs 70-80 crore. This year also we will do the same,” she said.

Britannia today reported a 30 per cent decline in net profit at Rs 32.83 crore during the quarter ended June 30 against Rs 47.37 crore in the same period last fiscal. Net sales rose to Rs 912.83 crore from Rs 731.24 crore a year ago.

“We have delivered a 25 per cent (sales) growth, well ahead of the market, backed by a strong 20 per cent growth in volume,” Bali said. “The real challenge for the industry is the continuing high inflation in key commodities such as flour and sugar that adversely impacted margins.”

Price call

According to Bali, Britannia can raise biscuit prices by 5-10 per cent to mitigate the impact of rising commodity rates.

However, she said it could be difficult to hike prices for the second time this year because of the competitive nature of the industry. It has already increased prices during the first quarter of this fiscal.

“While our volume growth has been 20 per cent in April-June, value growth was 26 per cent,” she said.

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