HUL Q2 net rises 10.7% to Rs 2,185 crore; net sales up 11.3% at Rs 12,812 crore

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Updated: October 19, 2021 5:00 PM

Its revenue from sales during the quarter under review stood at Rs 12,812 crore, up 11.31 per cent, against Rs 11,510 crore a year ago, HUL said in a regulatory filing.

Too early to talk about what will be COVID second wave impact on consumption: Hindustan Unilever Ltd chiefOver the outlook, Mehta said HUL remains “cautiously optimistic about demand recovery”. (File)

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever on Tuesday reported a 10.69 per cent rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs 2,185 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, helped by good performance across segments and price increases.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 1,974 crore in the July-September quarter of the previous fiscal.

Its revenue from sales during the quarter under review stood at Rs 12,812 crore, up 11.31 per cent, against Rs 11,510 crore a year ago, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) said in a regulatory filing.

HUL’s total expenses were at Rs 10,129 crore in Q2 FY2021-22 compared to Rs 9,054 crore in the year-ago period.

“The September quarter witnessed a sequential improvement in trading conditions, albeit remained challenging with unprecedented levels of input cost inflation and subdued consumer sentiments. Against this backdrop, we have delivered a strong performance growing topline in double digits and stepping up profitability sequentially,” HUL CMD Sanjiv Mehta said.

Large parts of the HUL business continue to gain market shares and penetration.

“Calibrated price increases and laser-sharp focus on savings have helped us protect our business model while ensuring the right price-value equation for our consumers,” Mehta added.

Citing RBI data, Mehta said while consumer confidence for the long term is good, for the near term, it is still subdued due to the persisting fear of COVID-19, inflation and jobs prospects.

The rural demand for the last few quarters had been resilient due to various factors such as the government’s direct transfer of money, food subsidy, MNREGA and the decent harvests, thereby putting the base for rural at a much higher level.

“The base for rural (market) is certainly much higher when it comes to growth rate as compared to urban, as urban was impacted because of lack of mobility. As mobility improves, the urban demand should be picking up, modern trade has opened up.

“So, we will definitely see more and more demand in urban sector picking up and whereas rural is still growing but the growth rates have moderated,” he said while addressing a virtual conference.

On inflation, Mehta said, “…what we have seen in certain commodities like palm oil, crude based derivatives, and related like ocean freight, etc, or even tea has been unprecedented. We haven’t seen this kind of inflation for many years”.

Overall, HUL said its growth in the second quarter was “broad-based” with all three divisions growing competitively and “business fundamentals remained strong with more than three-fourths of the business gaining market share and penetration”.

During the second quarter, home care segment revenue rose 15.67 per cent to Rs 3,838 crore as against Rs 3,318 crore a year ago, driven by high double-digit growth in fabric wash. Household care continued to perform well and grew on a strong base, it added.

Moreover, calibrated price increases were taken across fabric wash and household care portfolios to partly offset the high inflation in input costs, the company said.

Revenue from beauty and personal care increased 10.46 per cent to Rs 5,026 crore from Rs 4,550 crore in the same quarter last year. The rise was led by skincare, colour cosmetics and hair care products.

However, hand hygiene portfolio declined against the last year, but intimate hygiene brand VWash, which HUL acquired from Glenmark Pharmaceuticals last year, had another strong quarter.

“A calibrated approach towards price increase has helped protect the business model as vegetable oil prices remain at elevated levels,” the company said, adding 30 per cent of its beauty brand Lakme’s sales came through digital platforms.

The food and refreshment segment revenue surged 7.19 per cent to Rs 3,622 crore from Rs 3,379 crore in the year-ago period, supported by growth in segments like tea, health food drinks and recovery in the ice-cream market.

“Tea grew on a very strong base and further strengthened its market leadership. Focus on market development in nutrition is yielding good results. Health Food Drinks volumes grew double-digit and it continued to gain penetration sequentially. Ice Creams recovered strongly driven by effective communications and innovations,” said HUL.

Revenue from the ”other” segment, which includes exports, infant and feminine care, rose 28.44 per cent to Rs 560 crore compared to Rs 436 crore in the same quarter a year ago.

For the first half of this fiscal, HUL’s consolidated net profit increased 10.69 per cent to Rs 4,285 crore from Rs 3,871 crore in April-September last fiscal.

Its H1 revenue from sales surged 12.36 per cent to Rs 24,808 crore against Rs 22,080 crore in the year-ago period.

Over the outlook, Mehta said, HUL remains “cautiously optimistic about demand recovery”.

“In these times of uncertainty and unprecedented input cost inflation, we continue to firmly focus on delivering consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible growth,” he said.

Shares of HUL on Tuesday settled at Rs 2,546.65 on BSE, down 4.06 per cent from the previous close.

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