Jay Shree Tea & Industries to hive off its sugar business

Kolkata , Aug 5 (IANS) The Jay Shree Tea & Industries, a B.K. Birla Group company, is in a final stage to hive off its sugar business to a wholly owned subsidiary and might dispose of the sugar business later, a top company official said on Friday.

The company is also looking to increase its packet tea sales from 5 million kg to 10-15 million kg in coming years.

The Board of Directors decided to hive off its sugar business to a wholly owned subsidiary with effect from April 1, 2016.

“The scheme (for demerger) has already been finalised. Everything is done. The final approval is to come from the high court. The next hearing is on August 8 and we hope we will get the approval,” said company’s Managing Director D.P. Maheswari.

“If the sugar business makes profit, we will continue with it. But our main company should not be affected by the sugar company. Since the sugar industry is turning the corner, we might dispose of. We have started talking but no one is interested at the moment,” he said.

“Sugar industry is not doing well at present. Buyers are expected to take interest only after, when the (sugar) industry experiences a good year,” he said at the sidelines of the company’s annual general meeting.

Maheswai, however, said that the company is not looking to demerge its fertiliser business as it is making profit.

In its tea business, the company plans to increase its packet tea sales.

“We are currently selling 5 million kgs of packet tea mainly in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and plan to increase the same to 10-15 million kgs,” said Maheswari.

The company is looking for new markets for exports and has planned to acquire tea gardens in Assam.

“We are looking at new markets including Europe, Australia, South and North America and getting orders from new ones,” he said.

The company exported tea worth Rs 76.56 crore in 2015-16 as against Rs 84.73 crore last year.

“We are looking to acquire tea gardens in Assam,” he said.

Due to adverse weather conditions its tea production was less by 9 million kgs by end of May and the same is expected to be less by 15 million kgs by end of July, he said

On GST, he said the impact will be positive in the long run.

The company on Friday reported a profit of Rs 92 lakh for the quarter ended June 30 as against Rs 31.84 crore loss in the corresponding period last year.

–IANS

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