Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) on Friday posted a 12% rise in its quarterly profit and a 5% growth in volumes despite an economic slowdown and tough market conditions. The FMCG major said demand outlook and market growth would remain challenging in the short-term.
The company said domestic consumer growth during the quarter was 4% while underlying volume growth was 5%.
For the quarter ended December 31, the company posted standalone profit of ₹1,616 crore, up from ₹1,444 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. Total income for the quarter grew 3% to ₹9,948 crore.
“This quarter witnessed an overall challenging market environment, mainly reflecting a sharp slowdown in rural and discretionary spends,” said Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director, HUL.
The ₹37,660-crore company, which is banking on technology and innovation to navigate choppy market conditions and fend off competition, said it will continue to leverage its data and tech capabilities.
“I remain confident of the medium- to long-term prospects of the Indian FMCG sector and am hopeful that policy measures will spur the rural economy and drive consumption,” Mehta said. He had told Fortune India in an interview that he sees HUL crossing ₹50,000 crore in revenue by FY21.
HUL also announced the appointment of Prabha Narasimhan as executive director of its home care unit. Narasimhan, who was vice president-skincare and colours, will replace Priya Nair. Nair has been moved to the beauty and personal care division as its executive director.
Nair will be replacing the current head of the segment, Sandeep Kohli, who will relocate to Dubai as vice president–seauty & personal care for the company’s North Africa, Middle East, Turkey, and Russia markets. Nair will continue to be a member of the HUL management committee and Narasimhan will join the management committee effective February 1, HUL said in a statement.
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