Hindustan Unilever (HUL) on Thursday posted a 3.56 per cent year-on-year (YoY) decline in its consolidated net profit at Rs 1,515 crore for the quarter ended March 2020. The company had posted profit of Rs 1,571 crore in the year-ago period. On a standalone basis, profit came in at Rs 1,519 crore, down 1.23 per cent against Rs 1,538 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.
Revenue from operations (on a consolidated basis) stood at Rs 9,055 crore, down nearly 10 per cent against Rs 10,018 crore in the year-ago quarter. The company has recommended a final dividend of Rs 14 for the financial year ended March 31, 2020 on equity shares of Re 1 each. HUL had earlier paid an interim dividend of Rs 11 per share on November 5, 2019. The total dividend for the said period totals to Rs 25 per equity share of face value of Re 1 each.
The revenue growth during the quarter came below analysts expectations. Those at Centrum Broking, for instance, expected HUL to post a revenue growth of Rs 10,348.8 crore in the March 2020 quarter, supported by 4 per cent volume and rest from product and price mix change. Emkay Global, though, had expected the revenue to decline 3 per cent YoY to Rs 9,624.7 crore during the recently concluded quarter. READ ANALYST EXPECTATIONS HERE
"Reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) margin reduced by 40 bps (160 bps reduction on comparable basis after adjusting for accounting impact of Ind AS 116). For FY 2019-20, domestic consumer growth was 2 per cent with underlying volume growth of 2 per cent. Our EBITDA margin improved by 100 bps on comparable basis. We sustained our track record of strong cash generation," the company said in its press release.
Commenting on the performance, Sanjiv Mehta, HUL's chairman and managing director said COVID-19 is perhaps the biggest challenge for the company - both from the lens of sustaining lives as well as livelihoods.
"The human impact of the pandemic is uncertain, and we are fully committed to working with the Government and our partners to ensure that we overcome this crisis together. Our portfolio of trusted brands, our financial stability and quality of leadership teams positions us well to deal with the crisis and, for the changing world that will come afterwards. With the GSK CH merger effective from 1st April, iconic brands such as Horlicks and Boost will now enable us to also address the nutrition needs of consumers. Our approach will be to protect our business model, grow competitively and contribute to the nation," he said.
Segment wise, the consolidated revenue of Home Care stood at Rs 3,350 crore, down 4.3 per cent while Beauty & Personal Care's revenue came in at Rs 3,834 crore, down 13.4 per cent against Rs 4,432 crore in the year-ago period. Foods & Refreshment revenue declined 6.6 per cent to Rs 1,788 crore. Revenue from Others (includes Exports, Infant & Feminine Care etc.) segment dropped 31.9 per cent YoY to Rs 239 crore.