HUL Q3 Results: Profit Meets Estimates, Volume Growth Exceeds Expectations
Various products made by Hindustan Unilever Ltd., including Lux soap, Surf Excel detergent and Dove Shampoo, sit for sale on a store shelf in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg News)

HUL Q3 Results: Profit Meets Estimates, Volume Growth Exceeds Expectations

Hindustan Unilever Ltd.’s quarterly profit met estimates as volume growth surpassed expectations amid slowing consumption in India.

Net profit rose 11.9 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,616 crore in the quarter ended December, India’s largest consumer goods maker said in an exchange filing. That’s in line with the Rs 1,596-crore consensus estimate of analysts tracked by Bloomberg.

Key highlights (YoY):

  • Net sales rose 2.6 percent to Rs 9,808 crore. Analysts had estimated Rs 10,034 crore.
  • Volume growth stood at 5 percent against a forecast of 3-4 percent. It, however, remained unchanged for the third straight quarter.
  • Operating profit rose 9.5 percent to Rs 2,445 crore—higher than analysts’ forecast of Rs 2,241 crore.
  • Margin expanded to 24.9 percent from 21.4 percent, higher than the consensus projection of 22.3 percent.

The December quarter witnessed an overall challenging market environment, reflecting a sharp slowdown in rural and discretionary spends, the company’s Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta was quoted as saying in a statement to the exchanges.

“The demand outlook and market growth continue to remain challenging in the short-term,” Mehta said, adding that he’s confident of the medium-to-long-term prospects in the Indian FMCG sector. “I’m hopeful that policy measures will spur rural economy and drive consumption.”

That comes when growth among India’s consumer goods makers declined for the fifth straight quarter in the October-December period, Nielsen India said in a report, with volumes and prices rising at their slowest pace in four quarters.

Rural demand has stabilised during the quarter, while urban consumption weakened, the market researcher had said.

Segment-Wise Performance (YoY)

  • Home care revenue rose 9.8 percent to Rs 3,456 crore.
  • Revenue from beauty and personal care segment fell 2.8 percent to Rs 4,448 crore.
  • Food and refreshment’s revenue rose 7.9 percent to Rs 1,865 crore.

Shares of HUL closed 1.2 percent lower ahead of the earnings announcement. The stock has declined 2.97 percent during the quarter ended December, compared with the Nifty FMCG Index’s 3.25 percent fall.

HUL Q3 Results: Profit Meets Estimates, Volume Growth Exceeds Expectations
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