New Delhi: FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) on Friday reported a 19.51 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 1,525 crore for the September 2018 quarter on account of double digit growth across categories. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 1,276 crore during the same period last fiscal. Sales during the quarter stood at Rs 9,138 crore as against Rs 8,199 crore in the year-ago period, up 11.45 per cent, HUL said. “Our focus on strengthening the core, leading market development and driving excellence in execution has enabled us to deliver competitive and profitable growth. In the near term, we expect demand to be stable. Our strength of agility and responsiveness gives us confidence to navigate the headwinds arising from crude inflation and currency depreciation,” HUL Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta said.
HUL Chief Financial Officer Srinivas Phatak said while the company expects the demand to be stable in the near term, the company will watch out for currency depreciation and crude price increase. Pathak said the company had undertaken a price increase of 2-3 per cent across select home care category products — which includes brands such as Domex, Vim and Surf Excel — in the quarter under review. The company will not shy in increasing prices but will not lose its market competitiveness, he added. Revenue from the personal care segment during the quarter under review was at Rs 4,316 crore as against Rs 3,910 crore a year earlier, an increase of 10.38 per cent. Revenue from homecare products stood at Rs 3,080 crore, up 12.44 per cent, compared to Rs 2,739 crore reported in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.
The food and refreshment category — which included Kissan, Brooke Bond Red Label tea, Bru coffee and ice cream and frozen desserts business, accounted for Rs 1,704 crore, up 11.66 per cent, during the quarter as against Rs 1,526 crore a year earlier. The company’s board has declared an interim dividend of Rs 9 per share of face value Re 1 each for the financial year ending March 31, 2019. For the half year ended September 30, 2018, HUL’s net profit was up 19.34 per cent at Rs 3,054 crore as against Rs 2,559 crore in first half of 2017-18. Its sales was at Rs 18,494 crore in the half year ended September 30, 2018, up 6.94 per cent, as against Rs 17,293 crore in the previous fiscal. In a separate filing, the company also announced the appointment of Leo Puri as an Independent Director on its board effective October 12, 2018. “Puri, until recently, was the Managing Director of UTI Asset Management Company. He has also previously served as an Independent Director in companies including Max New York Life Insurance Company, Infosys, Bennett Coleman & Co,” the company said.