KRBL, India’s largest exporter of branded basmati rice on Thursday said its first-quarter profit rose 18.90% on steady demand for its India Gate basmati rice and strong export prices. The company’s consolidated net profit rose to 1.95 billion rupees ($23.59 million) for the quarter ended June 30, from 1.64 billion rupees a year ago, it said in an exchange filing. Total revenue from operations rose 15.15% to 14.14 billion rupees, while revenue from its mainstay agricultural segment, which accounts for about 96% of total sales, increased 15.53%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), as calculated by Reuters, rose 9.1% to 2.52 billion rupees. India, the world’s biggest exporter of rice, ordered a halt to non-basmati white rice exports in July. Analysts expect the ban on white rice exports to be lifted soon due to adequate monsoon rains and an increase in paddy sowing. KRBL said it had approved an offer to buyback shares worth 2.76% of the total paid-up equity capital, for an aggregate amount not exceeding 3.25 billion rupees, at 500 rupees per share. The company also recommended a final dividend of 1 rupee per share for fiscal 2023 and fixed August 25 as the record date to identify eligible shareholders for the buyback and dividend. In July, LT Foods, which owns the rival Daawat brand, posted a 53% surge in quarterly profit, aided by demand for packaged rice and strong export prices. Shares of KRBL settled 3.44% higher on Thursday after the results.