Majority of the food & tobacco stocks are trading in the green, with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer and United Spirits being the leading gainers. As per a leading financial daily, biscuit major Britannia Industries is planning to sell its 8.6 acre industrial property in Chennai. Currently the land houses the company's administrative regional offices and is reportedly estimated to be worth Rs 1.2 bn to Rs 1.7 bn. Britannia has reported a strong performance for the quarter ended June 2013. On a standalone basis, the company clocked a 79% YoY jump in operating profit on a 15% YoY revenue growth. The steep increase in operating profits has come on the back of easing input prices and rationalization in conversion charges and other expenses. This coupled with lower interest charges has enabled the company to almost double its net profits for the quarter. The net profit margin expanded to 6% from 3.5% in the year-ago quarter. Britannia stock is currently trading up by 0.9%.
The Government of India has released data on inflation. The WPI (Wholesale price index) inflation has increased to 5.79% for the month of July 2013 vs. 4.86% in June 2013. This is the highest in last five months. As per a leading daily, the increase in inflation is on account of rise in the food prices and costly imports as the rupee has fallen to record low levels. The WPI inflation for the food articles category has witnessed a sharp rise to double digits at 11.9%. This was largely driven by soaring prices of onions, cereals and rice. The rise in the prices of the food articles category is for the third consecutive month. Inflation in onions was up by a sharp 145%. The prices of other vegetables have also gone up by 46.59% for the said period. The manufactured items category witnessed a marginal increase of 2.8% in July 2013. This was still higher than June 2013 when it had increased by 2.75%. In the non-food category, which include items like fiber, oil seeds and minerals, inflation declined by 5.51%.