The Diageo-controlled United Spirits Ltd (USL) swung to a profit in the December quarter after three consecutive loss-making quarters, posting net profit of R78.81 crore on better sales of its premium brands and a lower interest outgo. Sequentially, USL had reported a loss of R27.83 crore while it had posted profit of R64.92 crore in the same period a year ago.
USL had gone through a process of reviewing its accounts after Diageo took over control from Vijay Mallya’s UB Group in July 2013 and it had been making provisions for receivables during the past three quarters. The review also led to the company’s board of directors ordering an enquiry into these receivables from various debtors, which is currently in progress.
USL posted a 2.3% year-on-year increase in net sales at R2,287.89 crore for the December quarter, with its strategic brands showing a 4.7% volume growth even though overall volumes were lower than the previous year.