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November 8, 2021

Britannia Industries moves to up prices as inflation crimps profits

The Indian food major has reported a more than 20% fall in its third-quarter earnings.

Britannia Industries, one of India’s largest food manufacturers, has sought to increase prices amid pressure on profits.

The Marie Gold biscuits owner saw its net profit drop almost 23% in the three months to the end of September amid what MD Varun Berry described as “unprecedented” inflation.

Profit for the period to 30 September, Britannia’s second quarter, stood at INR3.82bn (US$51.6m), down 22.9% on a year earlier.

Revenue from operations was INR36.07bn, 5.5% higher than in the corresponding period a year ago.

Berry praised Britannia Industries’ sales performance but pointed to the costs facing the business.

“During the quarter, the impact of the second wave of Covid-19 started receding, and the economic activity started picking up,” he said.

“However, inflationary trends remained rampant around the globe, across sectors. Our growth of 6% this quarter over a high base of last year and a 24-month growth of 21% in the current year is a testimony to our strong building blocks and commitment of our people.”

He added: “On the cost front, the global economy continued to witness supply-led constraints across various input materials fuelling inflation. As a result, we are witnessing unprecedented inflation in market prices of palm oil at 54%, industrial fuel at 35% and packaging materials at 30% leading to an overall inflation in the quarter of circa 14%.

“While we have been able to partially mitigate the impact through strategic forward covers and accelerated cost efficiency programmes, we have also initiated necessary price increases across the portfolio all of which will address the cost push and normalise profitability. We are confident that our resilient brands and strategic growth initiatives will hold us on a path of profitable share gain in the future as well.”

Just Food has asked Britannia Industries for examples of the price increases the company has moved to implement and for its thoughts on the outlook for its cost inflation into 2022.

Food manufacturers around the world have looked to increase prices to try to cover the cost pressures they are across a range of inputs.

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