Kolkata, Feb 5 (PTI) Eveready Industries India Ltd (EIIL) today reported 40.49 per cent decline in net profit to Rs 20.94 crore for the quarter ended December 31 amid higher operating income, mainly on account of higher capital expenses but expects an improved fourth quarter, a top company official said.
The battery maker had posted a net profit of Rs 35.19 crore during the year-ago period.
"PBT was almost flat. But, when comparing the net profit for the quarter, it was down due to a tax refund in the Q3 period of 2016-17," EIIL managing director Amritanshu Khaitan said.
Hopeful about the January-March 2018 quarter, Khaitan said he exprects better revenue and profitablity with better outlook in businesses like lighting.
"But, battery segment will remain under pressure at least for another one quarter despite reduction in GST rate to 18 per cent due to rise in zinc prices," he said.
The lighting segment grew by a healthy 33 per cent to Rs 98.8 crore during the quarter and is expected to stay strong, he said.
Total income during the quarter under review stood at Rs 373.80 crore as compared to Rs 346.90 crore in the December quarter of 2016-17.
Gross margin improved by 1.3 per cent to 39.1 per cent during the quarter.
The company said revenue for the period is not comparable on account of implementation of GST from July 1, 2017.
Expenses during the quarter were Rs 347.06 crore as against Rs 318.34 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal.
"This level of spend is not likely to be repeated in the following quarter ? hence margins should revert to higher levels. Cost increase also came on manpower costs from the appliances segment, which is on a building up phase," the company said. PTI BSM JM