New Delhi: FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Monday reported 17.87 percent rise in standalone net profit at Rs 1,252.17 crore for October-December quarter on the back of reduction in input costs and proceeds from sale of properties.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs 1,062.31 crore in the October-December quarter of 2013-14.
HUL's net sales increased by 7.69 percent to Rs 7,579.18 crore in the third quarter of current fiscal, compared with Rs 7,037.78 crore during the same period of last fiscal.
Exceptional income include a Rs 407.29-crore profit from sales of properties during the quarter this fiscal, the company said in a filing to the BSE.
Shares of the company, however, closed down by 5.27 percent at Rs 892.80 on BSE.
"The volume growth was soft during the quarter and there was modest pick up in the market. However, input costs have come down shortly due to falling crude prices," HUL Chief Financial Officer P B Balaji said.
He added that rural sales were picking up higher than in urban areas. The company has a ratio of 60:40 of sales from urban and rural areas.
Moreover, delayed arrival of winters also affected sales of skincare products.
"Our emphasis on market development and innovations have helped deliver another quarter of double digit growth and improvement in operating margins," he said, adding that the market was showing improvements.
The company's tax expense went up two-fold to Rs 518.66 crore in the third quarter from Rs 247.50 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.
During the quarter, revenue from soap and detergents increased by 5.95 to Rs 3,600.22 crore against Rs 3,397.86 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.
Revenue from personal products increased by 6.53 percent to Rs 2,454.55 crore, while that from beverages grew by 8.19 percent to Rs 919.65 crore in the quarter.
Packaged food segment's revenue grew 12.64 percent to Rs 419.88 crore. Quarterly revenue from others, which includes exports, water and infant care, grew by 27.81 percent to Rs 353.50 crore in the third quarter of 2014-15.