India’s Tata Coffee posts strong Q2 pre-tax profit on lower costs, higher prices

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s Tata Coffee on Thursday reported a near 63% rise in second-quarter profit, as lower costs and higher prices for its premium brands such as Gold and Eight o’clock coffee more than offset subdued sales.

Consolidated profit before exceptional items and tax for the July-Sept quarter stood at 820.4 million rupees ($9.86 million), compared with 503.8 million rupees a year earlier, the company said.

The company, which is a supplier to a joint venture between U.S. coffee chain Starbucks and parent Tata Consumer Products, reported a 51.5% rise in pre-tax profit of its value-added business.

The business accounted for 82% of Tata Coffee’s pre-tax profit in the latest quarter.

However, total revenue from operations fell 3.1% to 6.96 billion rupees.

“Coffee Plantation performance was subdued due to lower volumes sold, though realizations have improved,” Managing Director Chacko Thomas said in a statement.

Expenses fell 5.3% to 6.37 billion rupees, as raw material costs eased.

Separately, Tata Coffee renamed K Venkataramanan as chief financial officer.

Tata Consumer Products will report earnings next week.

Earlier in the day, consumer major Nestle India beat estimates with a 37.3% rise in September-quarter profit on higher demand for its chocolates and instant noodles.

($1 = 83.1729 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)