Fast-moving consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) on Monday reported a 14.2 per cent increase in standalone net profit to Rs 13.51 billion for the quarter ended March 31, driven by a strong double-digit volume growth. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 11.83 billion a year ago, HUL said in a BSE filing.The company’s net sales rose to Rs 90 billion during the quarter, against Rs 87.7 billion in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year. After the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) in July last year, revenue for the March quarter was reported as a net of the GST, whereas in the year-ago period, excise duty was included in the revenue. “During the quarter, our comparable domestic consumer growth was 16 per cent with underlying volume growth at 11 per cent,” HUL said. Revenue from home care stood at Rs 31.02 billion during the January-March quarter, against Rs 30.04 billion in the year-ago period, led by the laundry segment. “Laundry saw robust double-digit growth across key brands.
Comfort Pure, fabric conditioner for delicate baby skin, was launched. Household Care growth was led by a strong performance in Vim,” the company said.Revenue from personal care stood at Rs 40.9 billion, compared to Rs 40.7 billion in the year-ago period. Food segment contributed Rs 2.99 billion during the period under review, against Rs 2.95 billion as its Kissan brand delivered growth, led by ketchups. Commenting on the result, HUL Chairman Harish Manwani said: “Despite a step-up in competitive intensity, we have delivered another strong performance for the quarter and the year. Growth and improvement in profitability have been sustained through a combination of winning innovations and a relentless focus on operational efficiencies.” Over the outlook, he said that HUL was seeing a gradual improvement in demand and this augurs well for the sector. “We will continue to manage our business dynamically and will remain focused on our strategy of delivering consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible growth,” Manwani said. Meanwhile, in a separate filing, HUL informed the BSE that its board, in a meeting held on Monday, recommended a final dividend of Rs 12 for the financial year ended March 31, 2018 on equity shares of Rs 1 each.