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Nestle Profit Stagnant Despite Jump In Sales

BSCAL 

Nestle India, makers of Kit Kat chocolate and Nescafe coffee, yesterday announced stagnant profits for first six months of 1996. Against Rs 22.2 crore for January-June 1995, the foods multinational notched up profits of Rs 22.3 crore. Net sales were up at Rs 510 crore from Rs 414.3 crore, while 'other income' moved to Rs 3.3 crore from Rs 2.0 crore.

The scrip lost 3.35 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange yesterday as disappointed punters hammered down price from Rs 283 to Rs 274.

Sharp rise in interest and depreciation costs contributed to poor profits. From Rs 11.9 crore, interest doubled to Rs 26.1 crore while depreciation moved to Rs 11.8 crore from Rs 7.3 crore. Gross profits declined to Rs 35.1 crore from Rs 41.1 crore for last year.

Nestle India makes Kit Kat chocolate, Nescafe coffee, Maggi noodles, Cerelac baby cereal, Polo mint and Maggi tomato ketchup. The company launched Kit Kat last year in the country and this year, it entered the health beverage market by launching Milo in Madras.

Nestle is a major player in baby cereals with two leading brands, Lactogen and Cerelac, controlling around 80 per cent of the market. In tomato ketchup, the company's brand Maggi is running neck-to-neck with Brooke Bond's Kissan.

First Published: Wed, September 04 1996. 00:00 IST