Conglomerate ITC on Wednesday said it could take a decade for its non-cigarette fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) business to be profitable as it continues to expand product portfolio, thereby requiring fresh investments in brand building.
The company, which is completing 100 years of existence next August, saw its non-cigarette FMCG business registering a loss of Rs 184.79 crore in the first half of this fiscal, an improvement from a loss of Rs 239.16 crore in the same period last year.
Asked when the company is going to make profits in the new FMCG segments, ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar said: "Every time our greenfield business is launched, the entry into newer businesses is taking a very long term approach for sustainability of ITC. So we are really talking about time spans of a decade and not quarters."
Pressed to clarify if it meant that the newer FMCG division would start making profits in 10 years timespan, he said: "I hope so."
He said the FMCG segment being an aggregation of a number of businesses; it was facing competition in each of the new products launched in the segment.
"We are in confectionery, there are separate competitors in that area. We are in biscuits; there are separate competitors in that area (too)... So every time a new product is added, it goes through a fresh phase of investment in brand building and therefore the whole segment actually takes the weight of this," Deveshwar said.