Britannia may shift dairy project from Maharashtra

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Kolkata, Aug 6 (IANS) Britannia Industries, which is looking forward to expanding its businesses, may shift its dairy project from Maharashtra as the state government has not yet finalised the incentive scheme, a company official said on Monday.

“I believe that now we are poised to look at businesses outside even our adjacents (adjacent business).

“Today, we are in a position in terms of management to be able to look at acquisitions if they make sense,” company’s Chairman Nusli N. Wadia told shareholders at the 99th Annual General Meeting (AGM) here.

“We planned the (dairy) project in Maharashtra and waited for over one year for finalising the incentive. Unfortunately, they have not done it… We are looking at shifting (the dairy project) to Andhra Pradesh because the Maharashtra government (has) already delayed long enough. If it does not get finalised, then we have to move,” Wadia said on the sidelines of the AGM.

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The company plans to invest Rs 300 crore in a dairy project, he said.

Asked whether the company had any discussion with the Andhra Pradesh government, he said: “Of course, many times.”

The company, which completed 100 years on March 21, said its board recommended bonus debentures and proposed subdivide of shares.

“This is to inform you that the Board of Directors at its meeting held today (Monday) has recommended and approved issuance of secured redeemable non-convertible debentures, as bonus debentures of Rs 60,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

It will be in the ratio of one (bonus debenture) for every one equity share, held by the shareholders of the company on a record date as may be decided, subject to the approval of National Company Law Tribunal, Kolkata, and any other approval as may be required, it said.

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According to Wadia, the company would be issuing over 12 crore bonus debentures of about Rs 720 crore.

He also said the company would invest Rs 400-500 crore of capital expenditure in the coming year with a focus on dairy, rusks and cakes businesses. The company, which launched a new logo of “Britannia” on Monday, would be launching more products in the next six months, Wadia said.

The company will launch 50 new products in the next 12 months and enter new catagories including croissants, cream wafers and enhance product offerings in the existing categories.

The FMCG major will also relaunch some of its brands in the current year, its Vice President Marketing Ali Harris Shere told reporters later in the day.

In the biscuits category, it will have innovations and new product formats along with relaunches of some brands, company’s Managing Dirctor Varun Berry said, adding that the biscuit category contributes 75 per cent of its total revenue.

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At the AGM, the board decided to give notice to appropriate authority and stock exchanges to subdivide the equity shares of Rs 2.

According to the company’s annual report, the board recommended a dividend of 1,250 per cent and the total dividend payout amounts to Rs 361.84 crore including dividend distribution tax of Rs 61.70 crore.

The company reported a 19.6 per cent increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 258 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal (2018-19) as compared to Rs 216 crore in the year-ago period. On comparative basis, its consolidated revenue was up for the quarter by 13.6 per cent.

–IANS

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