ITC Q2 results | Pre-COVID volumes in cigarette and strong performance in Paperboard segment drives recovery
ITC's 2QFY22 performance was driven by recovery in cigarette volumes and strong performance in the paperboard segment. Overall net sales stood at Rs. 1,27,310mn grew 13.8% YoY and 4.2% QoQ, PAT stood at Rs. 36,972mn, grew 14.4% YoY and 22.7% QoQ, and EBITDA stood at 13.7% (down by 6 bps) YoY and 15.6% (up by 357 bps) QoQ.
Cigarette net segment grew 10.3% with volume growth of 10% on a low base, FMCG sales grew 6% on a high base of 15% and Paperboard segment sales grew strongly by 25%.
The cigarette segment saw a faster recovery in demand and volumes in 2nd wave compared to 1st wave with exit cigarette volumes were back to pre-COVID levels. The EBIT of the segment grew by 10%. Easing restrictions and increasing mobility helped increase volumes on a sequential basis. However, East India and Kerala did not contribute much to this recovery growth. In the quarter, the company launched differentiated offerings like Classic Connect, Gold Flake Neo Smart Filter, Gold Flake Kings Mixpod, American Club Smash, Wave Boss and Flake Nova and 5s pack of Gold Flake Premium, Capstan Special and Flake Mint in line with evolving consumer preferences and in focus markets, it launched modernised and refreshed packs of Flake Excel, Wills Navy Cut Filter, Berkeley Hero.
Snacks, confectionery, and beverages performed well while discretionary or out-of-home categories recorded strong growth in the FMCG segment. Despite moderate growth witnessed in staples and convenience foods, the revenue generated was above pre-COVID levels. Input cost inflation impacted the margins which declined by 40bps to 10%, however, FMCG EBITDA remained unhindered and grew by 2%. EBIT margin remained stable at 6.7% on account of operating leverage and lower depreciation. Notably, availability in rural markets was enhanced through the scale-up of the stockist network (2x of last year), market coverage and direct outlet servicing at 1.4x and 1.1x of last year.
Exports and cartons segment were the key growth drivers of the Paperboard segment. With the aid of in-house manufacturing of pulp, the margins remained stable even with input cost inflation in play. Paperboard segment EBIT grew 22% but margins contracted by 20bps to 22.4%. Despite shortage in availability of shipping containers/port congestion faced by Agri segment, EBIT grew 15% driven by favourable mix but revenue declined by 7%. Hotel revenue was back to 4QFY21 levels with easing restrictions. The strong recovery in occupancy levels and ARRs, but remained below pre-COVID levels.
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