Britannia Industries Ltd (BIL) is in the process of reviewing its Rs 40-crore creative account. The incumbent, Lowe, has been the company’s agency for the longest span and has served as Britannia’s agency for nearly 15 years.
Though the company officials are extremely tight-lipped about the entire proceeding, it has been learnt that four mainstream agencies have already been short-listed. However, it still remains to be seen if the entire corporate account will see a new agency or will it only be a few specific products that will change creative hands.
For the record, Britannia had signed on Maxus as its media partner in March 2004. Britannia in the recent past has fought back with relaunches of some of its brands in an effort to improve its margins. With Vinita Bali being appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer in November last year, Britannia has made it more than clear its ambitious plans.
India's largest biscuit baker, Britannia also has big plans to expand its cheese offering, and has tie-ups in New Zealand to source international quality cheese. There has also been a lot of speculation that Britannia is planning to foray into the tea business by acquiring a foreign tea brand. But the company has made it clear that it has absolutely no acquisition plans abroad as of now.
The confectionery major, a joint venture between the Nusli Wadia group and Groupe Danone of France, has made evident their plans to diversify into other areas of foods from the current product range of biscuit and cakes in order to become a complete food company. Britannia earlier had a milk business, which was sold to Britannia New Zealand Foods two years back.
The company is now looking into various new areas of foods like snacks and health drinks, but has not yet finalised anything. BIL will look for both organic and inorganic growth opportunities for venturing into new areas of foods.
According to various reports, BIL is looking at new distribution channels like malls and is investing around 15-20 per cent of revenue from a brand into brand promotion. At present, the company has six power brands in the portfolio each exceeding Rs 100 crore in annual sale.
As of October 31, 2005, BIL has reported a 9.5 per cent drop in its second quarter net profit at Rs 43.8 crore against Rs 48.5 crore in the year-ago period. Its sales increased to Rs 470.8 crore from Rs 434.6 crore in the year-ago period. Operating income moved up to Rs 59.5 crore (Rs 52.20 crore).