Mumbai: Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, has reported an 18% year-on-year growth in net profit to Rs82.5 crore for the January-March 2007 quarter, driven by increased revenue and profits of its telecom business.
The company’s quarterly consolidated turnover grew by 45% to Rs2,554.1 crore. The company’s shares gained 0.48% on the Bombay Stock Exchange to close at Rs1,150 on Thursday, underperforming the benchmark 30-stock Sensex as the results came in after trading hours.
For the year ended March 2007, the company’s consolidated turnover was at Rs8,258 crore, up 65%, compared with the previous year. The consolidated profit for the year was up only 38% to Rs281.2 crore.
The Aditya Birla Group’s revenue from its telecom business (Idea Cellular Ltd) grew 60% to Rs1,308.4 crore as Idea almost doubled its subscriber base to 14.01 million subscribers during the year. Aditya Birla Nuvo holds 31.78% in the National Stock Exchange-listed Idea.
Revenue from BPO rose 759.54% to Rs373.9 crore due to the acquisition of Canada’s Minacs, but the operating profit from the business was almost stagnant at Rs7.83 crore. The life insurance business had a revenue of Rs720.24 crore, up 2.41% year-on-year, but saw the operating loss rise 132.69% to Rs64.83 crore on account of higher expenses on branch expansion and hiring more staff. “We had slowed down to some extent during the year, but we expect to grow rapidly during this year,” said S.K. Mitra, director, financial services, Aditya Birla Group. The group plans to invest Rs200 crore more into the financial services businesses over the next six months.
“We are clearly focused on three emerging businesses—life insurance, BPO and retail,” said Bharat Singh, MD, Aditya Birla Nuvo. “We are taking every measure possible to grow these businesses.”
Aditya Birla Nuvo has outlined a capital expenditure plan of Rs640.4 crore for 2007-08. A large part of this will be to boost its branded garments retail business. “Over the next few years, we will plan to invest into large format stores where we will retail lifestyle brands, such as Van Heusen, Louis Phillipe and Esprit.
“We will also invest Rs161.6 crore in the BPO business to set up seven new sites to serve global auto customers this year. Minacs has not set up any new site in the last three years. Three sites would be located in North America, with the balance in Latin America and India,” said Bharat.
The board also approved a proposal regarding the amalgamation of Aditya Birla Insulators Ltd with the company with effect from 1 April 2007, subject to requisite approvals.