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HUL gains after stopping sale of Chinese range of instant noodles

Hindustan Unilever rose 1.13% to Rs 829.60 at 11:00 IST on BSE after the company decided to withdraw its Chinese range of instant noodles after product approval is pending with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

The company made announcement during market hours today, 11 June 2015.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 203.37 points, or 0.76%, to 26,637.13.

On BSE, so far 40,018 shares were traded in SPARC's counter, compared with an average volume of 1.27 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

The stock hit a high of Rs 836.65 and a low of Rs 818 so far during the day. The stock hit a record high of Rs 979 on 11 March 2015. The stock hit a 52-week low of Rs 610.35 on 23 June 2014.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 10 June 2015, declining 8.31% compared with 0.98% decline in the Sensex. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, dropping 14.25% as against Sensex's 6.51% fall.

The large-cap FMCG company has an equity capital of Rs 216.38 crore. Face value per share is Re 1.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) had submitted an application with Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for product approval for the Knorr Chinese range of instant noodles in February 2015 and the same is pending approval. In conformance with the FSSAI advisory to State FDAs dated 8 June 2015, with regard to product approvals, HUL has decided to stop production and sale of its Chinese range of instant noodles till such time as its application is approved by FSSAI. HUL is initiating a withdrawal of its Chinese instant noodles from the market.

The discontinuance of manufacturing and sale of Chinese instant noodles is not on account of any safety or quality concerns, HUL said. The Chinese instant noodle range uses ingredients which are permitted under the FSS Regulation, 2011/Codex and safety of these ingredients is well established. Details of the same have been shared with FSSAI as part of the product approval application. HUL continues to engage with FSSAI to secure the approval of this range so as to make these products available at the earliest for its consumers.

All food products of HUL, including its Chinese range of instant noodles, abide by the highest quality standards and are safe for consumption. HUL follows a strict quality management system and regularly monitors products for compliance to regulations, HUL said in a statement.

All HUL food products are regularly tested at Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) approved laboratories in addition to complying with strict internal quality standards. All suppliers are periodically audited by external accredited auditing agencies. As a responsible manufacturer and to reassure consumers, HUL has last week conducted additional testing of its noodles range of products from external FSSAI approved laboratory. All these tests show that the Chinese noodles range of products are safe for consumption and continue to meet all regulatory norms.

Meanwhile, Nestle India on 5 June 2015, announced decision to take the MAGGI Noodles off the shelves nationwide, in view of recent developments and concerns around the product, which has led to an environment of confusion for the consumer. This, Nestlbelieves, does not provide a conducive environment to have the product in the market, at this moment. NestlIndia, however, reconfirmed that MAGGI Noodles in India are safe.

Nestle India is in the midst of its biggest crisis in India after the nation's most popular comfort food was found to contain too much lead. That prompted the government to order a nationwide recall.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL)'s net profit rose 16.7% to Rs 1018.08 crore on 8.8% rise in total income to Rs 7955.46 crore in Q4 March 2015 over Q4 March 2014.

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