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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Hindustan Unilever beats profit forecast, Q4 net up 15%

PTI  Mumbai, April 29, 2013
First Published: 15:27 IST(29/4/2013) | Last Updated: 16:31 IST(29/4/2013)

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd on Monday posted 14.65% increase in its net profit at Rs. 787.20 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013, on the back of robust sales across various business verticals.

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The company had posted a net profit of Rs. 686.61 crore for the same period of previous fiscal.

Net sales of the company rose by 12.48% to Rs. 6,367.14 crore for the January-March, 2013 quarter, as against Rs. 5,660.48 crore in the corresponding period of previous fiscal, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) said in a statement.

Commenting on the results, HUL Chairman Harish Manwani said that in a challenging environment, the company has delivered broad based competitive growth and margin improvement.

"We have continued to invest in strengthening our brands, stepped up innovation and driven in-market execution and operational efficiencies even harder," he added.

Commenting on the outlook, he said: "While there are near-term concerns around slowing market growth and inflationary pressures on consumers, we are confident of the medium-to-long-term growth prospects of the FMCG sector and remain focused on delivering consistent and competitive growth with sustainable operating margin improvement."

During the fourth quarter, HUL said its domestic consumer business grew by 13% with robust 6% volume growth while both home and personal care (HPC) and Foods & Beverages (F&B)verticals registered double digit growth.

"The quarter witnessed price deflation as the benefit of the lower commodity cost was passed on to consumers," it added.

The company said its skin cleansing portfolio delivered a robust performance with double digit volume growth in Dove, Lux and Lifebuoy.

While packaged foods vertical grew by 7 per cent, beverages segment grew by 18% in the fourth quarter, it added.

For the year ended March 31, 2013, the company's net profit rose by 37.20% to Rs. 3,828.98 crore on a consolidated basis as against Rs. 2,790.66 crore in 2011-12.

On a consolidated basis, the net sales of the company for 2012-13 rose to Rs. 26,317.15 crore from Rs. 22,987.73 crore in the previous fiscal.

The company's board recommended a final dividend of Rs. 6 for the financial year ended March 31, 2013 on equity shares of Re 1 each.

Shares of HUL today closed at Rs. 497.60 on the BSE, up 6.98% from their previous close.

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