The absence of earnings results from Indian biscuit firm Britannia Industries in Groupe Danone’s latest financial results has drawn some questions in the Indian press.
The country’s Economic Times said that Britannia has refused to share earnings due to corporate governance issues, while France-based Danone says the omission was a result of stock market regulations.
In a third quarter financial statement released on 17 October, Danone said it has been fully consolidating the Mumbai Stock Exchange-listed biscuit firm since 1994.
Danone said that Britannia’s board of directors decided to limit the release of price-sensitive financial information since the start of August to comply with stock exchange regulations in India, impacting the availability of financial information needed by Danone for consolidation purposes.
As a result, Danone did not book any sales for Britannia in the third quarter period, and said its future inclusion would be reviewed at the occasion of the 2006 year-end closing.
Britannia is the largest company in the Indian Food processing industry, and its product range including biscuits, breads and cakes.
According to Dow Jones, Danone holds 25% of Associated Biscuits International Holdings, which owns Britannia Industries. The Indian-based Wadia Group, meanwhile, holds 75% of Associated Biscuits.
The Economic Times reported that the developments could further widen an existing rift that has built up between Wadia and Danone.
Groupe Danone was not available for comment when contacted by just-food.