MUMBAI: The folks at Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) are in a celebratory mood. Reason: the FMCG multi-product major has announced shiny financial results for the quarter ended 30 June 2022, even though the economy is sailing through rough weather. The company’s turnover grew 19 per cent with underlying volume growth of 6 per cent. HUL continued to grow significantly ahead of the market, gaining value and volume market shares1. EBITDA margin at 23.2 per cent remained healthy despite unprecedented inflationary headwinds. Profit after tax before exceptional items (PAT bei) grew 17 per cent and profit after tax (PAT) grew 11 per cent.
Home care: Stellar performance continues
Home care delivered 30 per cent growth driven by strong performance in Fabric Wash and Household Care. Both categories grew in high double-digits with all parts of the portfolio performing well. Liquids and fabric sensations continued to outperform driven by effective market development actions. Calibrated price increases were taken across fabric wash and household care portfolios as input cost continue to inflate at significantly high levels. During the quarter Comfort Delicates was launched which is specially made for delicate clothes.
Beauty and personal care: Strong growth ahead of the market
Beauty & personal care growth of 17 per cent was broad based. Hair care grew in high double-digit led by strong performance in the premium portfolio. Soaps delivered price-led double-digit growth driven by strong performance in Lux, Dove and Pears. Skin care and color cosmetics delivered strong YoY growth on a soft base. Premium portfolio in skin care performed well and is significantly ahead of pre-Covid levels. Calibrated pricing actions were taken across the portfolio to offset the impact of record inflation in input costs. During the quarter, Tresemme’s hair care range ‘Pro Pure’, Baby Dove Derma Protect Baby Wash, Vaselines’s summer range of body moisturisers and Lakme’s Facial Foams were launched.
Foods and refreshment: Steady performance on a high base comparator
Foods and refreshment grew 9 per cent driven by solid performance in ice-cream, coffee and food solutions. Ice cream had a very strong quarter broad based across brands and formats taking it significantly ahead of pre-COVID levels. Tea delivered steady performance and cemented its market leadership. Coffee had a strong quarter growing in double-digit. Health food drinks continued to gain market share and penetration on the back of focused market development actions. Foods grew in double-digit led by jams. Unilever Food Solutions delivered a solid performance and continued to build its salience with professional chefs.
Operating margins remain healthy
EBITDA margin at 23.2 per cent remained healthy despite the unprecedented inflation in input costs. YoY EBITDA margin declined 110 bps. PAT (bei) was up 17 per cent YoY. PAT at Rs 2,289 Crore was up 11 per cent YoY. The difference between PAT (bei) and PAT growth is largely due to a one-off prior period tax credit we had in base period. The company says it continues to manage “its business dynamically driving savings harder across all lines of P&L and taking calibrated pricing actions using the principles of net revenue management. It continues to invest competitively behind our brands. “
CEO & managing director Sanjiv Mehta said: : ‘In an environment which remains challenging, marked by unprecedented inflation and consequential impact on consumption, we have delivered yet another quarter of robust topline and bottom-line performance. We have grown competitively whilst protecting our business model by maintaining margins in a healthy range. While there are near term concerns around inflation, the recent softening of commodities, forecast of a normal monsoon, and monetary/ fiscal measures taken by the government augur well for the industry. We are confident of the medium to long term prospects of the Indian FMCG sector and remain focused on delivering a consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible growth. ‘