"The non-cigarette FMCG business will achieve break-even during the current fiscal and make profits from the next financial year," ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar told reporters after the company's AGM here.
 
"Then these businesses will not have to depend on the cash flows from the cigarette business," he said.
 
In his speech to shareholders earlier, the ITC Chairman said the leadership of brands in the cigarette segment provided cash flows which were enabling to create world-class brands in multiple consumer segments. "The cigarette business was also the basis for building capital-intensive hotels and paperboards businesses," Deveshwar said.
     
The ITC Chairman said within a short span of time, the company had built a number of brands which were getting customer franchise. "Since 1996, the company's other businesses sans tobacco had grown to Rs 19,500 crore, which was 15 times higher," he said.
     
Stating that ITC aspired to become the number one player in the FMCG segment sans tobacco, Deveshwar said the company would expect to garner a revenue of Rs one lakh crore from the brands in this segment by 2025/30 from the present levels of Rs 7,000 crore.
 
Referring to investment proposals, the ITC chief said delays in getting land and a plethora of permissions were derailing the projects which the company had undertaken numbering around 40.
"Delays in getting land and other permissions were holding up investments. We are in a hurry to make investments so much so that ITC should be driven to a point to borrow. We have enough internal resources and there will be no dearth in that regard," Deveshwar said.

The company had proposed an investment of Rs 26,000 crore earlier covering all areas of its presence. Deveshwar said that in the last fiscal, ITC had invested Rs 2,000 crore. "This fiscal, we propose to invest Rs 6000 crore to Rs 7,000 crore", Deveshwar said.

"Our investment rate year-on-year is rising despite the slowdown, but not fulfilling the aspirational quantum," he said. "ITC's growth could have been higher had there been no delays in the investments," he noted.

(Agencies)

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