May 22 (Reuters) - ITC Ltd, India’s largest cigarette maker, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as higher taxes on smokes and a government push to discourage tobacco consumption hurt business.
ITC sells four out of every five cigarettes in India and is nearly 25 percent-owned by British American Tobacco Plc .
For the quarter ended March 31, Kolkata-based ITC earned 23.61 billion rupees ($371.6 million), while analysts were expecting the company to earn 25.19 billion rupees, as per Thomson Reuters data.
Sales came in at 91.88 billion rupees, more or less in line with last year’s 91.45 billion rupees.
ITC, which sells brands like Gold Flake, Classic and India Kings, makes most of its revenue from cigarettes. ($1 = 63.5375 rupees) (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Mumbai; Editing by Anand Basu)