The world’s second largest branded tea company, Tata Tea Ltd saw its net profit rise by more than 11-fold to Rs1,307.31 crore in the third quarter ended 31 December, compared with Rs117.19 crore in the corresponding quarter last year, as it made a one-time profit of Rs1,604.74 crore on sale of stake in Energy Brands Inc.
Sales rose 6.3% to Rs1,189.65 crore for the quarter, against Rs1,119.32 crore in the year-ago period as it continued to gain market share.
“Our biggest market UK grew strongly with around 30% market share while the nearest competitor Unilever Plc. had only 6% share,” said Peter Unsworth, chief operating officer, Tetley Group.
“The ready-to-drink segment is also growing well in Canada where we have about 37% market share. The US market continues to be tough, but we introduced several product offerings such as liquid tea concentrate to boost our sales.”
During this quarter, Tata Tea bought 31.4% stake in Mount Everest Mineral Water Ltd for Rs79.6 crore. In the Indian market, the company, which owns Tata Tea Premium and Agni brand had a market share of 21.5% (value terms) in December—marginally behind the market leader Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) with 22.7% in the branded tea segment. “We have gained about 1.1 percentage points since October, while HUL has lost 0.2 percentage points since the same period,” said Sangeeta Talwar, executive director, Tata Tea, quoting data from ACNielsen, a market research firm.
On a stand-alone basis, the company reported a 37.5% decline in net profit at Rs58.8 crore, despite 34.4% rise in total income of Rs401.38 crore. The company blamed exceptional profits on sale of shares in the corresponding quarter last year of Rs63.53 crore for the dip in net profit.