New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on Thursday reported a 45 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,190 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, riding on strong volume growth across categories.
The company had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 1,512 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal, HUL said in a regulatory filing.
Consolidated total income in the fourth quarter stood at Rs 12,542 crore, as against Rs 9,475 crore in the year-ago period.
During the quarter, HUL said it witnessed an 'underlying volume growth of 16 per cent'. Home care category saw a growth of 15 per cent driven by a robust recovery in fabric wash, while household care continued its strong performance delivering double-digit growth.
Foods and refreshment segment grew by 36 per cent, the company said adding, 'all our tea brands continue to grow in high double-digits. Ketchups, soups and ice creams also performed well with double-digit growths'.
'Nutrition volumes grew in double digits and we launched Rs 2 sachets in Horlicks and Boost. Our goal remains to drive penetration in this category,' HUL said.
In the fourth quarter, beauty and personal care grew by 20 per cent with skin cleansing, hair care and oral care achieving high double-digit growths. Skin cleansing performance was led by 'Lifebuoy' and the premium segment, it added.
On the impact of rising commodity prices, HUL said, 'a calibrated approach towards price increase has helped protect our business model even as vegetable oils continue to inflate at record levels.' For the fiscal 2020-21, the company said its consolidated net profit was at Rs 7,999 crore, as compared to Rs 6,756 crore in 2019-20, a growth of 18 per cent.
Consolidated total income for FY21 was at Rs 47,438 crore, as against Rs 40,415 crore in FY20, the company said.
'Our in-quarter performance was strong on both the top-line and bottom-line. Despite challenging times, in FY'21 our business ecosystem has withstood the disruption and demonstrated agility and resilience across the value chain,' HUL Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta said.
Addressing a virtual press conference, he said despite the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hitting India, rural growth has managed to keep up its momentum.
'In the last two weeks there has been turbulence but it is not as bad as what we saw last April, because containment has been localised and we have not gone in for a general lockdown (this time),' Mehta said.
All the company's factories are running. The supply chain is still operating but there could be some disruptions because of mobility issues, he added.
Mehta said HUL would continue with its planned investments as it is bullish on India in the long term.
'We have (after what happened last year) built in resilience within our system, so that if there is fluctuation in demand we can cope with it. Also, there is an organic expansion with the growth that we see. That investment is going to go in as scheduled. We have no plans to pull it back,' he said.
Stating that the company has delivered on its multi-stakeholder business model, he said, 'our purpose-led brands and capabilities were further strengthened during the year and this positions us well to serve our consumers during this turbulent period.' The company's focus firmly remains behind delivering volume-led competitive growth, Mehta added.
'The recent surge in COVID cases is of serious concern and ensuring safety and wellbeing of people remains our top priority,' he said adding HUL would continue to work closely with governments, health authorities and its partners to support the needs of the society and the nation to overcome this adversity. PTI RKL DRR DRR ABM ABM