Indian Hotels Company Ltd. (IHCL), owner of the Taj chain of hotels, and a part of the Tata Group, reported a 31 per cent drop in its net profit for the fourth quarter of 2011-12 at Rs.65.21 crore (Rs.93.93 crore) on higher expenses of Rs.432.85 crore (Rs.374 crore).

Net sales grew 6 per cent to Rs.560.15 crore (Rs.531 crore). According to a company statement, “the hotel sector witnessed an improve- ment in room sales across some key markets driven by select improvement in demand, albeit with marginal growth in average room rates. Resultantly, net sales improved by 6 per cent during the quarter.” The board of directors has recommended a dividend of Re.1 per share for 2011-12. The company reported a marginally higher net profit of Rs.145.35 crore (Rs.141.25 crore) for the full year. Net sales were up 8 per cent at Rs.1808.73 crore (Rs.1673.45 crore). On a consolidated basis, IHCL reported a profit after interest but before exceptional items of Rs.148.03 crore (Rs.11.3 crore) for the year on a 20 per cent higher total income of Rs.3,432.71 crore against Rs.2,862.47 crore.

Net sales grew “supported by improved business in the company's domestic as well as overseas hotel portfolio, as also on account of the consolidation benefit of newly acquired subsidiaries,” the statement added.

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