| Log in

HUL quarterly sales growth slows, no immediate recovery

27 January, 2014

Hindustan Unilever, India’s largest consumer goods maker, expects sales growth to remain muted for the next few quarters at least, stymied by a sluggish economy which led to its seventh consecutive quarter of weaker sales.

The slowdown in sales intensified in the quarter ending December 31, as demand from rural India, which accounts for nearly half of the company’s sales, fell. Demand in urban areas was also lower as customers spent less in a weakening economy, the company said.

“Market growth continued to be slow and as we stand today, in the near term, we can expect to see a few more quarters of slow growth,” Chief Financial Officer R. Sridhar told a conference call after the company announced its third-quarter earnings on Monday.

Overall sales volumes in the December quarter grew 4 per cent, in line with market estimates of 4-5 per cent growth but lower than the 5 per cent growth logged a year ago.

India’s economy has been hit by slowing private consumption as well as declining capital investment and public spending, leading to the slowest growth in a decade for the fiscal year that ended in March.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is majority owned by Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever Plc (ULVR.L) (UNc.AS), which this month said it would remain focused on emerging markets even though economic weakness in India and Indonesia last year had hurt its performance.

Unilever generates more than half of its sales in emerging and developing markets.

HUL faces the difficult choice of raising prices or retaining market share, as high promotional expenditure pinches margins and higher prices hurt volumes.

Higher promotional spending pushed up sales in the personal care segment by 12 per cent year-on-year, while the company’s food business grew an annual 13 per cent.

HUL, which manufactures detergent brand Rin and Dove soap, said its net profit in the December quarter rose 22 per cent to 10.6 billion rupees aided by a one-time gain. Profit before exceptional items grew a conservative 9 per cent.

Net sales rose 9.5 per cent year-on-year, to 70.4 billion rupees.

Analysts had on average estimated a net profit of 9.3 billion rupees on sales of 71.3 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine Estimates.

A sharp depreciation in the rupee between May and August last year impacted the company’s December quarter earnings, Sridhar said.

Valued at $19.5 billion, Hindustan Unilever also makes Fair and Lovely skin cream, Clinic Plus shampoo and Lipton tea.

Shares of the company have remained flat with a 0.8 per cent drop so far this year, in line with a 0.6 per cent fall in the consumer sector index of the Mumbai stock exchange.

The company trades at 31.5 times its 12-month forward earnings, compared with 25.9 times for ITC Ltd ITC.NS, 35.4 times for Nestle and 24.8 times for Godrej Consumer, Thomson Reuters Starmine Smart Estimate showed.


Leave Your Comment
HUL beats earnings expectation but volume growth disappoints in Q2

HUL beats earnings expectation but volume growth disappoints in Q2

Reuters 4 years ago
Sales growth at Hindustan Unilever slowed for the sixth straight quarter between...
HUL Q1 sales disappoint as volume growth slows

HUL Q1 sales disappoint as volume growth slows

TEAM VCC 4 years ago
The country’s top FMCG company Hindustan Unilever Ltd reported a 7 per cent...
Hindustan Unilever’s volume growth signals positive demand in FMCG sector

Hindustan Unilever’s volume growth signals positive demand in FMCG sector

TEAM VCC 5 years ago
The country’s largest fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Hindustan...
No Comments

HUL quarterly sales growth slows, no immediate recovery

Powered by WordPress.com VIP