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HUL swims against ad slowdown slide, ups ad spends in Q1 by 30%

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MUMBAI: Swimming against the slowdown tide in the economy, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant Hindustan Unilever has upped its ad spends by 29.5 per cent for the fiscal-first quarter to Rs 8.20 billion, from Rs 6.33 billion a year ago.

The ad spend to revenue ratio has seen growth to 12.43 per cent in the first quarter compared to 11.21 per cent in the earlier year.

HUL?s net sales from operations increased by 13.72 per cent to Rs 62.50 billion in the three-month period ended 30 June 2012, from Rs 54.96 billion a year ago. HUL?s net profit jumped to Rs 13.31 billion for the quarter as compared to Rs 6.27 billion in the earlier year, marking a 112.28 per cent increase.

Soaps and detergents grew 24 per cent as laundry sustained its robust growth trajectory with all brands growing in double digits across formats. Continued focus on driving upgradation saw the premium segment perform well with both Surf and Rin delivering double digit volume growth, the company said.

All the segments and key brands in the Skin Cleansing category grew in double digits as Dove and Pears continued to drive category premiumisation and Lux accelerated its growth momentum. The Axe brand was extended with the launch of the New Axe Bar Soap.

In case of personal products the category grew at 17 per cent and was led by double digit volume growth with the three main brands in skin care - Fair & Lovely (FAL), Ponds and Lakme growing in double digits. This category saw quite a few innovations with the relaunch of FAL during the quarter, the introduction of Vaseline Heel Cream and relaunch of the Lakme Perfect Radiance range with revolutionary technology in skin lightening.

Hair care products and brands also delivered double digit growth across formats as Dove shampoo doubled its volumes this the quarter.

The Oral Care category also increased growth to reach double digits and saw the launch of the Pepsodent Expert Protection range with advanced care benefits around whitening and sensitivity towards the end of the quarter.

Beverages grew seven per cent brought about by a strong growth in the coffee segment while modern trade accelerated tea growth. Packaged food grew at 17 per cent. Kissan led by volumes as its ketchup brand recorded double digit growth for the 11th year in a row.

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