FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has reported a 28 per cent increase in its net profit at Rs 1,326 crore for the quarter ended December 2017, against Rs 1,038 crore in the year-ago period.
Total income during the quarter under review stood at Rs 8,742 crore as against Rs 8,400 crore in the year-ago period, up 4 per cent, the company said. “We have delivered another strong performance in the quarter, with broad-based growth across categories and further improvement in margins,” HUL chairman Harish Manwani said.
On the outlook, he said: “We remain positive about the mid-term outlook of the industry and will continue to invest strongly in our core brands and developing categories of the future”. He, however, said there were early signs of commodity cost inflation and the company would further sharpen its focus on cost effectiveness programmes and manage business dynamically for competitiveness and sustained profitability.
Total expenses during the quarter under review stood at Rs 7,036 crore as against Rs 7,067 crore in the corresponding period previous fiscal. Revenue from the personal care segment was Rs 4,090 crore as against Rs 3,980 crore in the year ago period. Home care division contributed Rs 2,741 crore during the quarter compared to 2,689 crore year ago.
“Personal wash witnessed robust growth across key brands led by Dove and Pears. Growth in skin care was driven by the strong performance of Fair & Lovely,” the company said. Hair care segment witnessed broad based volume-led growth, the company said adding that growth in the household care segment was led by a strong performance in Vim.
“Cost of goods sold were lower, on the back of a strong savings programme. Advertising and promotion spends were stepped up to support innovations and market development activities,” it said.
Effective November 15, GST rates were reduced for some of the categories from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. While the implementation of this change was initiated immediately, it was not possible to pass on the entire benefit of this rate reduction on some of the pipeline stocks during the transition, HUL said.