PPL’s consolidated net sales increased by 11.2% YoY to Rs 3066.3 mn. Gross margins compressed by 290 bps YoY to 28%, due to raw material cost inflation, favourable Rs/$ equation in base qtr and lagged price effect. EBITDA declined by 0.7% YoY to Rs 288.8 mn and EBITDA margin compressed by 90 bps to 9.4%. Overall, adj PAT increased by 12.4% YoY to Rs 166 mn.
June tea output rises 3.3% YoY
India’s tea production in June rose 3.3% from a year earlier to 141.32 million kg as plucking gained momentum in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Output in Tamil Nadu rose 11.2% from a year ago to 21.24 million kg, although production in top-producing Assam fell 5.62% to 70.37 million kg. Tea output in Assam is likely to fall 10% in 2014 due to scanty rainfall and a sharp rise in temperatures, hitting exports of premium grade leaf from the world’s biggest black tea producer. India, the world’s second biggest tea producer, exports CTC (crush-tear-curl) grade mainly to Egypt, Pakistan and the UK, and the orthodox variety to Iraq, Iran and Russia.
FIPB clears 14 FDI proposals worth Rs 15.28bn
Foreign Investment Promotion Board has approved FDI proposals worth Rs 15.28bn from 14 firms including ACME Solar Energy and Sinclairs Hotels. It rejected the FDI proposals of six companies and deferred decision on seven others. Of the proposals approved, pharma company Laurus Labs will invest Rs 6.00bn; ACME – Rs 275; Sinclairs Hotels – Rs 0.41bn and Golden Agri Resources (India) Rs 4.86bn.
U.S. Trade Deficit Unexpectedly Narrows To $41.5 Billion In June
With the value of imports showing a significant decrease, the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in the month of June. The trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in June from a revised $44.7 billion in May. Economists had expected the deficit to widen to $45.0 billion from the $44.4 billion originally reported for the previous month. Economists noted that the unexpectedly narrower trade deficit could lead to an upward revision to the pace of GDP growth reported for the second quarter.
U.K. Economic Growth Slowed In July: NIESR
The U.K. economy grew at a slower pace in the three months to July than in the the June quarter, the latest estimate from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research showed. GDP rose 0.6% in the three months to July after increasing 0.8% in the three months to June, revised from 0.9% estimated earlier.