Calcutta, May 15: Eveready Industries has suffered a fourth-quarter net loss of Rs 86.01 crore compared with a loss of Rs 4.84 crore in the third quarter. The news sent the Eveready stock downhill to a 52-week low of Rs 17.50 on the BSE today.
In the corresponding quarter a year ago, Eveready, which sells dry cell batteries, flashlights and packet tea, had posted a net profit of Rs 3.99 crore.
The sudden jump in losses in the fourth quarter can be attributed to a provision of Rs 75 crore against its investments in Novener SAS, a French rechargeable battery manufacturer in which Eveready has a controlling stake. Novener is not doing well, and Eveready feels it may not be able to recover its investments in the venture.
Novener markets products under the Uniross brand.
Total income from operations stood at Rs 224.10 crore against Rs 204.43 crore in the corresponding period last year. In the preceding quarter, total income was Rs 254.19 crore.
Sales within India was at Rs 222.20 crore against Rs 207.61 crore a year ago.
"Novener is likely to register a loss for the current year as well, resulting in a complete erosion of its net worth. Eveready has an investment of Rs 46.46 crore in Novener as on March 31, 2012," the company told the BSE.
The Eveready stock today opened at Rs 18, hit an intra-day low of Rs 17.50, recovered to a high of Rs 18.45 and finally closed at Rs 18.35 on the BSE.