RBI rate hike may not be the last increase: FM

“I am optimistic that measures taken by the RBI by adjusting the crucial rate will have impact and inflation will come down,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said when asked whether he was surprised by the 50 bps increase in key interest rates by the RBI

New Delhi: A day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised its key interest rates to check inflation; finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday indicated it may not be the last increase for now, reports PTI.

“I don't think it is end of the tunnel. It is not like that. It does not happen (that way),” he told reporters, when asked whether RBI is nearing the end of the interest rate increase cycle.

The RBI on Tuesday hiked its key short-term lending and borrowing rates by 50 basis points (bps) to contain inflation which is nearing the double-digit mark.

Tuesday’s rate hike by the RBI, the 11th since March 2010, evoked sharp reaction from the industry which said the decision would hurt investment and pull down growth.

When asked whether he was surprised by the 50 bps increase in key interest rates by India’s central bank, Mr Mukherjee said, “I cannot say it surprised me. It is substantial no doubt, but given the situation it was necessary.”

The RBI’s decision is likely to make auto, home and corporate loans expensive and many banks have indicated that they would increasing their lending and deposit rates in response to the hike announced by the central bank.

Admitting that inflation at 9.4% in June was “reasonably high and unacceptable”, Mr Mukherjee said it was a global phenomenon and the whole world was reeling under the impact of rising prices of fuel and other commodities.

The government and the central bank are taking steps to check price rise, he said, adding, “I am optimistic that measures taken by the RBI by adjusting the crucial rate will have impact and inflation will come down.”

Inflation, Mr Mukherjee said, might not come down to below 6%-7% by the end current financial year.

“We are fighting against inflation...increase in repo and reverse repo by the RBI yesterday conveys a strong signal... (but) we shall have to keep in mind that year-end inflation may not be less than 6%-7%," he said.

In an economy, Mr Mukherjee further said, “You cannot have a carpet under which you can keep all these things and at the same time things will remain stable.”

He said crude oil prices went up from $89 per barrel when the budget calculations were made to $107-110 currently.

He also recalled that India had lived with very high inflation, at 24% in 1974. It was 18% in 1990.

The finance minister said that he would take up the issue of volatility in commodity and crude prices at the international fora including the Group of Twenty (G-20).

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Dabur Q1 consolidated net profit up 19.1% to Rs127.74 crore

During the first quarter of FY'12, Dabur registered net sales of Rs1,204.58 crore, a 31.4% surge from Rs916.48 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal

FMCG firm Dabur India on Wednesday posted a 19.1% jump in consolidated net profit to Rs127.74 crore for the April-June quarter on the back of strong demand across categories and stringent cost-saving measures to mitigate rising input costs.

During the first quarter of FY'12, the company registered net sales of Rs1,204.58 crore, a 31.4% surge from Rs916.48 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal.

"Dabur has been reporting strong and consistent performance despite inflation playing truant and competitive pressures intensifying in some key categories," Dabur India chief executive officer (CEO) Sunil Duggal said in a statement.

To minimise the impact of high input costs, the company has put in place calibrated price hikes. This, combined with cost management initiatives, helped Dabur record 27.8% growth in EBITDA during the first quarter, he added.

During the period, the company's consumer care business generated a revenue of Rs950 crore, while its foods business accounted for Rs156.70 crore of overall sales.

The company said its hair oils category witnessed 16.1% growth during the first quarter, while Dabur's toothpaste brands saw 14.1% growth during the period.

"We've significantly enhanced our domestic presence, especially in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns, and are now putting in place measures to further expand Dabur's rural footprint. This has been accompanied by focused and innovative marketing and promotion strategies," Duggal said.

In addition, Dabur's international business recorded a 98.9% surge during the quarter, led by robust performance in Nigeria, Egypt and the GCC and income from newly acquired overseas companies. The newly acquired firms include Hobi Kozmetik of Turkey and US-based Namaste Laboratories.

On Wednesday, Dabur ended 0.23% up at Rs110.50 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.46% to 18,432.25.

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Lupin Q1 net profit rises 7.03% to Rs210.1 crore

Net sales of Lupin rose to Rs1,543.2 crore for the first quarter ended 30 June  2011, from Rs1,316.5 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal

Drug firm Lupin on Wednesday said its consolidated net profit rose by 7.03% to Rs210.1 crore for the first quarter ended 30 June 2011, on the back of robust sales in India and Japan. The company had registered a net profit of Rs196.3 crore in the same period last fiscal, Lupin said in a statement.

Net sales of the company rose to Rs1,543.2 crore for the first quarter ended 30 June  2011, from Rs1,316.5 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal.
 
Commenting on the results Lupin Ltd managing director Kamal Sharma said: "Backed by 24 quarters of consistent performance, we continue to witness sustained growth across all our markets. This quarter's business performance was primarily fuelled by strong growth from India and Japan."

During the quarter, the company's net sales for India region formulations grew by 17% to Rs496.9 crore, compared to Rs424.2 crore in the same period last fiscal.

The Mumbai-headquartered firm's Japanese subsidiary Kyowa's revenues rose by 28% to Rs166.6 crore during the first quarter from Rs129.9 crore in the same period last fiscal.

On a standalone basis, the company posted a net profit of Rs72.76 crore for the first quarter ended 30 June 2011, compared to Rs157.42 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal.

On Wednesday, Lupin ended 3.12% down at Rs448.20 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 0.46% to 18,432.25.

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