By Rumman Ahmed
BANGALORE--India's Tata Coffee Ltd. (532301.BY) said Monday its first-quarter consolidated net profit more than doubled from a year earlier, helped by a turnaround in its U.S. unit, Eight O' Clock Coffee Co.
The company said in a statement its net profit for the three months ended June 30 rose to INR281.8 million ($5.1 million) from INR132.5 million a year earlier, the unit of Tata Global Beverages Ltd. (500800.BY) said in a statement.
Consolidated sales rose 23% to INR4.08 billion from INR3.32 billion.
The Eight O' Clock Coffee unit has been a drag on the Indian company's bottom line for the past several quarters following a sharp escalation in raw-material costs.
A moderation in coffee prices, however, led the U.S. unit to report a jump in quarterly post-tax profit to $1.43 million from $0.17 million a year earlier.
Tata Coffee, which owns coffee estates in the southern Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, sells instant-coffee brands such as International Tata Cafe, Mysore Gold and Tata Kaapi.
It also signed an agreement with Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) in January to supply roasted coffee beans to outlets to be set up by the Seattle-based company's joint venture in India as well as to its overseas operations.
Tata Global and Starbucks have an equal joint venture, Tata Starbucks Ltd., which will start setting up Starbucks cafes in India later this year.
Write to Rumman Ahmed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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