In what was a muted session on the Indian stock markets, the benchmark indices languished in the negative territory until the final hours. The closing hour saw some buying interest in banking, commodity and energy sector, particularly Reliance group stocks. While the BSE-Sensex closed marginally higher by around 11 points (up 0.1%), the NSE-Nifty ended just 4 points higher. While the BSE Mid cap index ended in the red, the BSE Small cap index managed to close above the dotted line.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while most European indices have opened in the positive. The rupee was trading at Rs 52.72 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Packaged foods major Nestle India, has launched one of its global programmes - Nescafe Plan - to shore up coffee farmers and help it optimize its coffee supply chain. Under the Nescafe Plan, the company has introduced its first Nescafe coffee demo farm and training centre in Karnataka. The farmers will get the help to improve quality, productivity and sustainability through this coffee 'demonstration' farm. The company's research and development team aims to offer farmers with high-yielding, disease resistant plantlets suitable for Indian conditions. Through the initiative, the company will source coffee sustainably by working with Indian coffee farmers.
The company reported double-digit sales growth of 20% YoY in 1HFY12 led by consistent price-hikes and volume growth. Domestic sales that constitute a lion's share of 96% grew by 20.7% during the quarter. Export turnover increased by 4.6% YoY. Nestle has been on an expansion spree to capitalize on the growing demand. In the past three years, the company has spent Rs 9.7 bn on capacity expansion. Its capital expenditure during 9mCY11 stood at 9.1 bn.
Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), is likely to roll out six new vehicles by the end of the next fiscal. The new vehicles will include a compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) and a shorter version of its sedan Verito. It will also launch a van based on the platform of commercial vehicle Maxximo. The company plans to launch three products around by the end of 2012. The electric car NXR and the Rexton are of strategic importance as they will allow the company to get into eco-friendly technology segment and move up in the premium segment respectively. M&M will also introduce 49 tonne truck with Navistar.
Sales volumes of the company's 'automotive' division grew by 32% YoY during 2QFY12, and the company managed to retain its leadership in the UV segment with a market share of 54%. Other product segments such as the small load carriage segment (particularly 'Maxximo') and Gio did well to record an impressive growth of 48.9% YoY.