FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) on April 27 declared an 8.6 percent rise in standalone post-tax profit at Rs 2,327 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2022 as against Rs 2,143 crore recorded a year ago.
On a sequential basis, the net profit has risen by 3.7 percent compared to the profit of Rs 2,243 achieved in the December 2021 quarter.
The standalone Q4 revenue from operations for HUL came in at Rs 13,462 crore, an increase of 11 percent on Rs 12,132 crore reported in the previous corresponding quarter. On a sequential basis, the revenues increased 2.8 percent over Rs 13,092 crore registered in the October–December period.
For the full-year period from April 2021 to March 2022, the profit rose by 10.9 percent to Rs 8,818 crore from Rs 7,954 crore in the previous financial year.
The revenues for the full year increased 11.3 percent to Rs 51,193 crore compared to the revenues of Rs 45,996 crore for FY21.
The profit and revenues reported by the company were higher than analyst estimates.
“In challenging circumstances, we have grown competitively and protected our business model by maintaining margins in a healthy range”, said Sanjiv Mehta, CEO and Managing Director. “I am also pleased that we have become a Rs 50,000 crore turnover company in this fiscal”.
"Our consistent performance is reflective of our strategic clarity, strength of our brands, operational excellence, and dynamic financial management of our business," Mehta added.
While there are near term concerns around significant inflation and slowing market growth, Mehta is confident of the medium-to-long-term prospects of the Indian FMCG sector and remain focused on delivering a consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible growth.
The company was able to maintain its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) margin at 24.6 percent compared to 24.4 percent in the corresponding quarter of last year despite the inflationary pressures.
“In the context of unprecedented inflation, we continue to manage our business dynamically driving savings harder across all lines of P&L and taking calibrated pricing actions using the principles of Net Revenue Management," the management said in its earnings release.
HUL's home care business grew at 24 percent on year, aided by strong performance in fabric wash and household care. Both these categories grew in double-digits. Liquids and fabric sensations also returned strong numbers during the quarter.
HUL had taken calibrated price hikes its portfolio to partly offset the significant inflation in input costs.
Beauty & Personal Care (BPC) grew at 4 percent on year during the quarter, backed by double-digit growth in skin cleansing. The growth was driven by pricing and strong performance by its Lux, Dove and Pears brands. Hair care division of the company witnessed market share gains during the quarter.
“A calibrated approach towards price increase in Skin Cleansing and Hair Care has helped protect our business model even as vegetable oils continue to inflate at record levels”, the company said in its release.
High inflation impacted the skin care and colour cosmetics business, which had a muted quarter with the fall in discretionary consumption.
Foods & Refreshment business of the company grew 5 percent on year on a high base of last year with all business segments within this business witnessing strong traction.
The company has recommended a final dividend of Rs 19 for the financial year ended March 31, 2022 on equity shares of Rs 1 each. The Company had earlier paid an interim dividend of Rs 15 per share on November 12, 2021. The total dividend for the full year period amounts to Rs 34 per equity share of face value of Rs 1 each.The HUL stock closed Rs 3.25 lower at Rs 2,145.1 on April 27 at the National Stock Exchange. It has lost 10 percent over the past one year and has generated returns of9.8 percent during the past one month.