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HERO HONDA-Ambitious Plans

LIPTON INDIA High Growth LIPTON INDIA'S results for the 18-month period have been significantly better than those of the previous year with all its businesses showing encouraging growth despite difficulties in the economic environment. The company also made a good start in gaining entry into new areas in the food and beverages markets. The domestic tea business made satisfactory progress and sales growth was ahead of the market. New brands launched to cater to an emerging segment have met with encouraging trade end consumer response. In a competitive tea export scenario, the company improved its performance both in volume and value. There was pressure on edible fats margins and volumes during the first half of the year as targe releases of imported oil through the public distribution system crealed an excess of supply over demand. Flora refined sunflower oil was extended nationally and has been successful in all markets. The dairy business had another good year and made gains in both volume and profitability. The animal feeding stuffs business has shown good growth with volumes registering an all time high. Broiler feeds sales have increased considerably attaining a 25 per cent market share. The company has successfully launched a range of natural fruit drinks under The Week's Companies the brand name Tree Top' and in a very short period of lime the brand has established a strong presence in a large number of markets. The company has also successfully completed the test marketing of a range of biscuits which are now to be extended to all potential markets during the year ahead. The company has supported these brands with heavy investment in upfront marketing expenditure, as they represent very attractive opportunities in growing and profitable segments of the food and beverages market. During the 18 months ended December 31 last, the company's sales amounted to Rs 573.88 crore against Rs 328.43 crore in the preceding 12 months and in line gross profit came to Rs 22.69 crore against Rs 13.01 crore. Net profit expanded from Rs 6.30 crore to Rs 12.18 crore. Dividend stepped up from 20 per cent to 33 per cent was covered 2.34 times by earnings as against 2 times previously.

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