India’s largest fast-moving consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever on Monday posted a 2% year-on-year decline in net profit at Rs 569.2 crore for the quarter ended March as high inflation coupled with rising input costs hit profits.
The soaps-to-sauce manufacturer maintained volume growth despite price hikes due to higher input and raw material costs. Net sales during the January-March quarter grew by 13.5%.
“The results is above market expectation as the growth numbers are positive. The company had indicated it will maintain volume growth and delivered double-digit growth across categories,” said Himani Singh, research ananlyst and product strategy, Elara Securities.
Domestic consumer business (FMCG and water) grew by 13.8%, while the home and personal care segment grew 13.6%. The foods business, which saw a couple of launches during the quarter including Kissan Fruit, grew 15.4% during the quarter.
Consumption of raw/packing material went up by 18% to Rs 2,104.9 crore during the quarter while the purchase of goods went up by 11% to R748 crore.
The company recommended a final dividend of Rs 3.5 per share on equity shares of R1 each.
For the full year, the company, however, maintained volume growth. Net sales for the full year jumped 10.8% to Rs 19,691.0 crore while net profit surged 6.5% to Rs 2,296.0 crore.
Meanwhile, the company’s board approved a proposal to spin off its FMCG exports business, including specific exports-related manufacturing units of the company into its wholly-owned subsidiary Unilever India Exports Ltd, with effect from April 1.