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HUL Q4 profit dips 1.53% to Rs 2,561 cr, net sales flat at Rs 15,013 cr

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Net sales of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) were almost flat to Rs 15,013 crore in the March quarter

New Delhi: FMCG major Hindustan Unilever on Wednesday reported a 1.53% decline in consolidated net profit to Rs 2,561 crore for the fourth quarter of FY24 on account of deflation due to softening of commodity prices.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 2,601 crore in the year-ago period, according to a regulatory filing from HUL.

Net sales of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) were almost flat to Rs 15,013 crore in the March quarter.

While HUL’s total expenses were up 1.15% to Rs 12,100 crore in the March quarter from Rs 11,962 crore a year ago.

The total income of HUL during the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal was flat at Rs 15,441 crore as against Rs 15,375 crore a year ago.

“HUL delivered a resilient performance in Q4 with underlying sales growth of 1%, underlying volume growth (UVG) of 2 % and EBITDA margin at 23.4 % ,” HUL said in its earning statement.

In the March quarter, HUL’s gross margin improved 350 bps year-on-year and its advertising and promotional (A&P) investments increased 200 bps as it continued to step up investments on its brands.

However, HUL’s “EBITDA at 23.4% declined 30 bps primarily on account of 60 bps impact from termination of GSK consignment selling arrangement and investments in long-term capabilities”.

During the quarter, HUL’s home care segment grew 1.27% to Rs 5,709 crore.

“Both fabric wash and household care grew volumes in mid-single digit driven by strong performance in premium portfolio. The category continued to witness YoY price decline on account of actions taken during the year,” it said.

However, its beauty and personal care segment was down 2.5% to Rs 5,125 crore during the quarter under review as against Rs 5,257 crore a year ago.

“Overall, the segment had a USG of (-) 2% with flat volumes,” said HUL.

The hair care segment delivered volume-driven high-single digit growth led by outperformance in Dove and Tresemme. Skin care and colour cosmetics grew in low-single digit.

“Premium skin care continued its strong double-digit growth trajectory led by innovations in new demand spaces and formats. Skin cleansing declined due to impact of price cuts coupled with drop in volumes in the mass and popular segments while bodywash continued to do well,” it said.

Its foods & refreshment reported a 3 % growth in revenue to Rs 3,910 crore in the quarter under review. The segment has 4 %  flat volume growth.

“Functional nutritional drinks (Horlicks & Boost) delivered high single-digit growth, driven by Plus range. Tea continued to strengthen value and volume market leadership,” it said.

However, in tea business, HUL witnessed consumers downgrading to loose tea. Coffee delivered double-digit growth driven by pricing.

“Foods grew in mid-single digit led by strong performance in soups and food solutions. Mayonnaise and peanut butter continue to gain consumer traction. Ice cream grew in double digit led by volumes,” it said.

Revenue from other segments, which includes exports, consignment, etc was also down 11.6 % to Rs 466 crore. It was at Rs 527 crore in the March quarter last fiscal.

The company reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 10,282 crore for the entire FY24, as against Rs 10,143 crore in 2022-23.

Its total income rose to 2.64%  to Rs 62,707 crore in FY24 as against Rs 61,092 crore in FY23.

Meanwhile, the board of HUL in a meeting held on Wednesday proposed a final dividend of Rs 24 per share, on equity shares of Re 1 each, subject to approval of shareholders at the AGM.

“Together with interim dividend of Rs 18 per share, the total dividend for the year amounts to Rs 42 per share, an increase of 8 % vs FY23,” it said.

HUL CEO and Managing Director Rohit Jawa the company has delivered a “resilient performance” in FY24.

“We remain focused on driving operational excellence and have continued to build back our gross margins while stepping up investment in brands and long-term capabilities. Looking forward, I am optimistic of consumer demand gradually improving due to a normal monsoon and better macro-economic indicators,” he said.

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