On a strong growth across product categories, India's largest consumer goods company Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has posted a 20.7-per cent rise in net profit at Rs686.61 crore for fourth quarter ended 31 March 2012, while an exceptional gain of Rs29.08 crore in the quarter also helped in adding to its bottomline.
The company, the Indian unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever Plc, had posted a net profit of Rs569.18 crore during the same period of the previous financial year. Its total income rose to Rs5,835.86 crore during the period from Rs5,028.71 crore a year ago.
''Our performance through the year has been consistent, with broad-based growth ahead of the market, driven by a relentless focus on innovation and in-market execution. In a year of competitive intensity and high volatility, a sharp focus on cost management helped the business to continue to invest behind our brands and capabilities while delivering an improvement in margins,'' Chairman Harish Manwani said.
HUL had an exceptional gain, including a Rs34.73 crore from sale of properties and Rs5.78 crore provision for retirement benefits among others, in March quarter. Its net profit before exceptional items was up 29 per cent, HUL said in a statement.
During the quarter, its domestic consumer business grew at 20 per cent with a strong 10 per cent volume growth, while personal products grew 17 per cent and beverages grew 8 per cent.
''The focus on driving upgradation led to stepped up growth rates in Surf. During the quarter, Rin made a foray into the fabric blues segment with the launch of Rin Perfect Shine. Household Care delivered robust double-digit growth led by Vim and Domex,'' it said.
For the year, the growth was broad-based and ahead of the market in all quarters.
Profit before interest and tax (PBIT) grew by 25 per cent with PBIT margin improving by 140 basis points. Profit after tax but before exceptional items, PAT grew by 20 per cent to Rs 2,592 crores with net profit at Rs 2,691 crores growing 17 per cent.