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Heritage Foods gains on buzz it may hive off retail biz

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Meanwhile, the Sensex was up 25.43 points, or 0.13%, to 19,512.23.

On BSE, 17,000 shares were traded in the counter as against an average daily volume of 63,209 shares in the past one quarter.

The stock hit a high of Rs 536.40 and a low of Rs 491 so far during the day. The stock had hit a record high of Rs 562.50 on 23 November 2012. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 133.15 on 16 May 2012.

The stock had outperformed the market over the past one month till 6 December 2012, rising 20.07% compared with the Sensex's 3.56% rise. The scrip had also outperformed the market in past one quarter, spurting 98.02% as against Sensex's 12.34% rise.

The small-cap company has an equity capital of Rs 11.53 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

According to the report, the move assumes significance for Heritage Foods India (HFIL), the retail and dairy products company, in the backdrop of the government's move to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) into the retail sector.

HFIL's president M Sambasiva Rao was quoted by media as saying that the board has approved a proposal to hive off the retail business into a wholly-owned subsidiary and to rope strategic or financial partners in a bid to accelerate the pace of growth in retail business.

A separate entity, Heritage Foods Retail, was registered for the purpose and the transferring of the retail business to the subsidiary will take place along with the firming up of new partners, said Rao.

HFIL had clarified to the stock exchanges on Wednesday, 5 December 2012, that it decided to subsidiarise retail business and a wholly-owned subsidiary company namely Heritage Foods Retail was incorporated. The company said it is open for strategic partnership in retail business for accelerating its growth.

It further clarified that it is not looking for any strategic investor for HFIL and the promoters are not looking to sell their stake.

On a consolidated basis, Heritage Foods (India)'s net profit rose 467.84% to Rs 14.48 crore on 14.58% rise in net sales to Rs 397.59 crore in Q2 September 2012 over Q2 September 2011.

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