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HUL marketing expenses down in Q2-17, HY1-17

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BENGALURU: Indian FMCG giant Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) spent 7.6 per cent less towards Advertisement and Promotions expense (marketing spends, ASP) in the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current year) as compared to Q2-16(year-over-year or y-o-y) on a standalone basis. Also, quarter-over-quarter (q-o-q) ASP declined 3.2 per cent in the current quarter as compared the immediate trailing quarter Q1-17. HUL spent Rs 851.38 crore (10 per cent of Total income from operations or TIO) in Q2-17, Rs 921.04 crore (11 per cent of TIO) in Q2-16 and Rs 879.75 crore (10 per cent of TIO) in Q1-17 towards ASP.

ASP was also down, both in terms of absolute rupees as well as percentage of TIO during the half year ended 30 September 2016 (HY1-17) versus the corresponding half year period of the previous year. As a matter of fact, ASP in HY1-17 was the lowest since HY1-13.

HUL chairman Harish Manwani said, ?In challenging market conditions, we delivered another quarter of profitable growth. We remain focused on market development, consumer led innovations and an even sharper drive on operating efficiencies. With a good monsoon, weexpect a gradual improvement in market demand and remain positive on the mid-long term outlook for the industry. Our strategic agenda of delivering consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible growth remains unchanged.?

Trends

During aneighteen quarter period starting Q1-13 until Q2-17, HUL?s ASP in Q4-15 was the highest in absolute rupees at Rs1,027.89 crore (13.4 per cent of TIO), while in terms of per centage of TIO in current fiscal, it was highest in Q2-14 at Rs954.02 crore (13.8 per cent of TIO). Please refer to Fig A below. ASP shows linear increasing trend in terms of absolute rupees while in terms of ASP as per centage of TIO, the trend shows a decline during the eighteen quarter period under consideration in this report.

Please refer to Fig B below. HUL?s ASP in HY1-17 at Rs 1,731.13 (10 per cent of TIO) was 4.6 per cent lower than the Rs 1,813.77 crore (11.2 per cent of TIO) in HY1-16. As is obvious, HY1-17 ASP is the lowest over a five year period starting HY1-13 in terms of per centage of TIO and second lowest during the same period in terms of absolute rupees. ASP during the first half period of a fiscal shows a declining trend in terms of per centage of TIO during the period HY1-13 to HY1-17.

The company?s TIO in the current quarter increased 1.6 per cent y-o-y to Rs8.480.26 crore as compared to Rs8,348.60 crore but declined 3.7 per cent q-o-q  from Rs8,802.82 crore q-o-q. Please refer to Fig C below. TIO represented by the broken light blue line shows a linear increasing trend during the eighteen quarter period under consideration in this report.

HUL?s Profit after Tax (PAT) in Q2-17 increased11.6 per cent y-o-y to Rs 1,095.60 crore (12.9 per cent margin) as compared to Rs982.06 crore (11.8 per cent margin) and increased by 11.5 per cent q-o-q from Rs 982.17 crore (11.2 per cent margin). PAT shows a linear decreasing trend in terms of percentage of TIO, but indicates a linear increasing trend in terms of absolute rupees during the eighteen quarter period under consideration in this report.

HUL?s Q2-17 reporton categories

Home Care: Robust growth with continued momentum on premium laundry In Fabric Wash, growth was driven by the premium segment as Surf maintained its strong volume-led growth. In Household Care, Vim liquiddid well on the back of sustained market development. The water business continued to do well.

Personal Care: Growth impacted by slowing markets and Personal Wash volumes. In Personal Wash, the performance was impacted by price increases taken during the quarter. Skin Care growth was driven by the BB andCC creams. Hair Care growth was led by the premium brands Dove and TRESemm?. The recently acquired Indulekha brand continued toperform well and was extended to four new states in the quarter. In Oral Care, the overall performance was subdued, though Pepsodent started recovering post relaunch. Lakme Colour Cosmetics sustained its broad based innovation led growth. In Deodorants, Axe Signature continuedto gain ground during the quarter.

Refreshment: Strong growth led by Tea. In Tea, all key brands grew well driven by focused in-market initiatives. Lipton Green Tea and the Natural Care portfolio registered anotherquarter of high growth on sustained market development. In Coffee, Bru Gold continued to lead premiumisation and performed well. In Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts, Magnum Minis were launched during the quarter.

Foods: Modest growth in a challenging market. The focus continues to be on market development for the category. Kissan range of premium Jams gained further traction with consumersand Instant Soups led the growth for Knorr.

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