Shares of Bajaj Consumer Care, the consumer arm of the Bajaj Group, rallied over 10% in early trade on Thursday after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings and dividend for the financial year ended March 31, 2023. The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company has declared a final dividend of 500% aggregating to ₹5 per share, on equity shares of the face value of ₹1 each for FY23, subject to shareholders’ approval. In the past 12 months, the company has declared an equity dividend of ₹4.00 per share, while the dividend yield currently stands at 2.25%.

Bajaj Consumer Care shares opened 3.2% higher at ₹169.90 against the previous closing price of ₹164.55 on the BSE. In the first hour of trade so far, the FMCG stock gained as much as 10.4% to ₹181.75, while the market capitalisation rose to ₹2,626 crore. On the volume front, there was a surge in buying activities with 1 lakh shares changing hands over the counter as compared to the two-week average volume of 0.14 lakh scrips.

At the current price level, Bajaj Consumer Care shares trade nearly 2% lower than its 52-week high of ₹184.65 touched on December 6. 2022. The counter is up 41% against its 52-week low of ₹129.25 touched on June 17, 2022. The smallcap stock has risen 7% in a year, while it added nearly 13% in the past six months. In the calendar year 2023, the share price climbed over 4%, whereas it jumped more than 16% in a month. In the last one week, the stock has soared over 10%.

For the January-March quarter of 2023, the Bajaj Group company reported 13% growth in consolidated profit at ₹40.5 crore compared with ₹35.8 crore in the same period last year. Revenue from operations also witnessed healthy growth of 14.5% to 246.2 crore as against 215 crore in the corresponding period last year on the back of steady volumes.

On the operating front, EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) increased 18.7% to ₹42.9 crore as against ₹36.1 in March quarter of 2022. The margin as percentage of sales improved to 17.4% from 16.8% in the year-ago period.

For the full financial year 2022-23, the consolidated profit stood at ₹ 139.2 crore, registering a decline of 17.9% from ₹169.6 crore in the previous fiscal. The revenue grew 9.5% to ₹949.1 crore in FY23 as compared to ₹867.1 crore in the last financial year, while the EBITDA dropped 18.6% to ₹146 crore from ₹179.3 crore in FY22.

During the quarter under review, the company's volume growth was at 9.9% YoY, while it stood at 5.6% in FY23. Hair oil grew by 11.9% in Q4 FY23 and by 8.1% in FY23.

“Overall, the hair oil market declined similarly in both value and volume terms in FY23 in spite of inflation, implying mass market products have performed better than premium,” the company said.

As per the company, both urban and rural markets recovered in the March quarter as compared to the previous quarter, while urban markets continued to outpace rural markets during the quarter.

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