India's largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Hindustan Unilever posted a 13.8% jump in net profit in the quarter ended March 31 despite slower volume growth.
The company, which bought GlaxoSmithKline’s Horlicks and other consumer healthcare nutrition brands last year, said volume growth for the quarter stood at 7%, its lowest in six months.
“We have delivered a strong performance for the quarter despite some moderation in rural market growth,” said Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director, HUL.
The company reported a net profit of ₹1,538 crore, up from ₹1,351 crore in the comparable quarter last year. While revenue for the quarter rose 9.3% to ₹9,945 crore. The company also announced an annual dividend of ₹13 per share.
“Given the macro-economic indicators, near-term market growth has moderated. However, medium-term outlook stays positive,” Mehta said.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew 13% to ₹2321 crore from ₹2,048 crore. The company said its Ebitda margin rose by 90 basis points (one basis point is one-hundredth of a per cent).
“Prudent management of volatility in costs (crude and currency led) along with improved mix and operating leverage has driven margin improvement,” it said in a statement.
The company’s shares fell more than 2% to close at ₹1,692.80 on the BSE on Friday.
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