Hindustan Unilever on Wednesday announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Exceeding expectations, HUL posted a 6% rise in net profit at Rs 1,183 crore in the last quarter of fiscal 2016-17 from Rs 1,114 crore in the corresponding quarter of FY 2015-16.
Total income for the company during the quarter increased 6.39% to Rs 8,969 crore compared with Rs 8,430 crore in Q4FY16.
When trading opens at stock exchanges on Thursday, shares of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL) and JSW Steel are likely to spurt on the back of their fourth quarter performance.
"In a challenging year, we delivered a resilient performance by managing our business dynamically and responding with agility to the changing environment".
The company's board, which met today, recommended a final dividend of Rs 10 per share.
On a consolidated basis, the company's PAT stood at Rs 4,502 crore and the total income stood at Rs 36,128 crore for the financial year 2016-17. With gradual improvement in market conditions, we remain optimistic about the medium term outlook for our sector. P B Balaji, CFO, HUL, said the net benefits on taxation following the implementation of GST would be passed on to consumers.More news: Merkel Ally Says Macron's Brexit Stance to Strengthen Her Hand
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The company also witnessed rebound of both personal wash and personal products during the quarter. With GST coming in, we believe wholesale would be impacted, once again, more than other channels.
Although other factors - such as a continuing demand slowdown, especially in rural markets, and price hikes in a few categories - have also influenced sales growth, one variable in the past two quarters was demonetisation, which was announced on November 8 a year ago.
The foods business, however, grew modestly due to strong comparators in the previous year, although Kissan brand grew well in the quarter, Balaji said, adding that going ahead focus would be on market development for the category.
Currently, the company is testing a new range of products formulated with Ayurvedic ingredients under "Lever Ayush" in five southern states.
These issues have to be addressed if one is looking for a smooth and timely transition to GST on July 1, 2017, he said.
On Wednesday, JSW Steel closed 2.48 percent higher at Rs 207 apiece on the BSE while HUL hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 1,010 before ending at Rs 1,006.