FMCG-to-hospitality major ITC on Friday reported a 9.28 per cent growth in its consolidated net profit for the January-March quarter at Rs 3,926.46 crore.
During the same quarter of the previous fiscal, FY 2018-19, the company had reported a net profit of Rs 3,592.80 crore.
However, its total income declined by 4.85 per cent on a year-on-year basis to Rs 13,228.40 crore.
In a statement, the company said the macro-economic environment for the year under review was particularly challenging, marked by deceleration in economic activity accentuated by a sharp decline in consumption, especially in rural areas.
Just as the business environment was showing signs of an incipient recovery in the beginning of the fourth quarter, the onset of Covid-19 pandemic changed the situation dramatically, it said.
"In the initial stages, the contagion had a significant impact on the hotels and education and stationery products businesses as it coincided with the peak period and the onset of the school season, respectively," it said.
The company said: "The cigarettes business consolidated its market standing during the year through continued focus on delivering world-class products along with best-in-class execution."
However, persistent weakness in the demand environment coupled with growth in illicit cigarette trade weighed on performance. Steep increase in taxes with effect from February 1, 2020 and disruptions in operations in March 2020 exacerbated the situation, it added.