Bengaluru–United Spirits Ltd (USL) on Tuesday reported a whopping 266 per cent growth in standalone net profit for first quarter of 2016-17 at Rs 44 crore as against Rs.12 crore in like period year ago.

In a regulatory filing to the stock exchange BSE, the Indian arm of the British liquor major Diageo Plc said income, however, grew 9 per cent annually in the quarter under review to Rs 2,041 crore from Rs 1,866 crore in same period year ago.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) grew by a modest 5 per cent annually to Rs 198 crore in Q1 from Rs 189 crore year ago.

Sequentially, though net profit shot up 710 per cent from Rs 5.43 crore posted in fourth quarter of 2015-16, income declined 4.3 per cent from Rs 2,132 crore.

“Alcohol consumption ban in Bihar impacted net sales by three per cent, underlying net sales growth of 12 per cent. Net sales of popular segment also declined 8 per cent in the quarter due to prohibition in Bihar,” the company said in a statement.

Relaunch of McDowell’s No.1 whisky and Royal Challenge has helped both brands grow net sales by 20 per cent and 46 per cent respectively in this quarter. Signature, which was renovated recently, has returned to growth, representing 57 per cent of the overall business and portfolio.

“Our strategy and investments over the last two years have driven momentum. The overall performance in the first quarter demonstrates we have the right strategy in place, focusing on premiumisation, with selective participation in popular, said Chief Executive Anand Kripalu in the statement.

Noting that many challenges the company faced last year were behind it, he said good growth was seen in some states and partial recovery in others. For instance, sales in Uttar Pradesh rebounded after excise duty was reduced.

Diageo acquired majority stake (54.78 per cent) in USL in July 2014 and took full control of it after liquor baron Vijay Mallya resigned from its board as chairman and director on February 25, 2016 as part of a $75-million (Rs.516 crore) mutual deal. (IANS)