India’s largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Hindustan Unilever’s (HUL) fourth quarter net profit rose better-than-expected 21 percent year-on-year to Rs. 687 crore (about $132 million), helped by strong growth across several segments. Analysts on average had expected HUL to report a net profit of Rs 649 crore (about $124 million).
The company, a unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever Plc, reported net sales of Rs5, 660.5 crore ($1.088 billion) in the Jan-March quarter, up 16 percent from a year ago.
In the fourth quarter, the consumer goods leader had exceptional items, which included gain of Rs 34.73 crore (about $6.7million) from the sale of properties and Rs 5.78 crore (about $1.1 million) provision for retirement benefits among other things. In the year ago quarter it had exceptional gain of Rs 47.8 crore ($9.19 million) from sale of properties and a few other provisions. Its net profit before exceptional items was up 29 percent, the company announced.
During the three-month period, the company’s domestic consumer business grew 20 percent with a volume growth of 10 percent.
Among key segments, soaps and detergents revenue rose 28 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,834. crore (about $545,000) in January-March.
“Momentum was sustained in both bars and powders with Rin benefiting from the bars relaunch in December quarter. The focus on driving upgradation led to stepped up growth rates in Surf,” HUL said.
Personal products revenue was up 17 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,710.94 crore (about $329,000). The company said, skin care brands like Ponds, Fair and Lovely and Vaseline and hair care brands continued double-digit growth. However, growth in oral care continued to be modest amid high competition.
While beverages sales rose 8 percent to Rs. 683.2 crore ($131 million), coffee grew in double digits. The firm’s packaged foods revenue was up 10 percent from a year ago to Rs. 348 crore (about $67 million).