Two Categories Godrej Consumer Sees Holding Up Amid Second Covid Wave
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. expects hygiene and household insecticides to witness robust demand even as a severe second wave of coronavirus infections impacts the discretionary segment.
“April has actually continued like the fourth quarter, so we haven’t seen much impact. April has been strong for us. What we’re expecting is that there will probably be some sort of ‘K curves’ in demand,” Nisaba Godrej, chairperson and managing director at the maker of Good Knight and Hit insect repellants, told BloombergQuint in an interview.
Last-mile delivery of goods, according to her, was impacted as the mounting cases forced several state governments to impose fresh lockdowns, limiting timings for grocers to remain open. The Mumbai-based company will focus on the products it has launched in the last two years.
Godrej Consumer reported an 11% sequential drop in total revenue from operations at Rs 2,731 crore in the quarter ended March. Its net profit fell 27% over the preceding three months to Rs 366 crore.
Household insecticides grew 34% over the year-earlier in India but fell 6.3% sequentially during the January-March period.
Domestic growth for the company, according to a report by ICICI Securities, was driven by soaps and household insecticides, while hair colour continued recovery. The brokerage expects the strong momentum to continue, driven by an acceleration in Indian household insecticides, improvement in Indonesia and profitable turnaround in Africa under new leadership. But a structural deceleration in Indian household insecticides and steep input cost pressure are key downside risks, ICICI Securities said.
Jefferies, however, said in household insecticides, Godrej Consumer has been late in reacting to the rising threat from the incense sticks, which allowed unorganised players to garner near-double digit share. “GCPL’s incense stick launch met with limited success and there is a need probably for an out-of-box approach to deal with the issue as the patchy performance of household insecticides has been one of the key investor concerns.”
Godrej Consumer separately announced the appointment of Sudhir Sitapati as managing director and chief executive officer for a period of five years with effect from Oct. 18, 2021. Accordingly, with effect from that date, Nisaba Godrej will serve as executive chairperson.
Reacting to this development, the stock on Wednesday gained the most on record.
Watch the full interview here: