Hindustan Unilever Q4 net up nearly 17% at Rs1,018 cr

Hindustan Unilever Ltd has reported a 16.7 per cent increase in its net profit for the fourth quarter of the 2014-15 financial year (January-March 2015) at Rs1,018 crore, aided by exceptional income arising from the sale of properties/subsidiary.

The margin for the quarter includes a one-time credit of Rs71.5 crore towards a favourable outcome for a contested matter on excise duty.

The FMCG major had posted a profit of Rs872.13 crore in the January-March quarter of 2013-14.

Profit after tax before exceptional items for January-March 2015 grew 9 per cent to Rs911 crore, impacted by the higher tax rate. Profit before interest and tax (PBIT) grew 23 per cent and PBIT margin improved by 190 bps.

HUL's net sales for the quarter climbed to Rs7,555 crore during the quarter, compared with Rs6,935.82 crore a year earlier, up 8.92 per cent, the company said in a BSE filing.

For the full financial year ended 31 March 2015, HUL reported a net profit of Rs4,315 crore, a 12 per cent year-on-year increase, aided by exceptional income arising from property related sales.

The company also maintained the strong track record of cash generation with cash from operations exceeding Rs5,000 crore for a second year.

Profit before interest and tax (PBIT) grew 17 per cent with PBIT margin improving by 90 bps.

Profit after tax but before exceptional items (PAT-bei) grew 8 per cent to Rs3,843 crore, impacted by the higher tax rate.

HUL saw its domestic consumer business grow 10 per cent with 5 per cent underlying volume growth, both ahead of market.

The board of directors has proposed a final dividend of Rs9 per share, subject to the approval of the shareholders at the AGM. Together with the interim dividend of Rs6 per share, the total dividend for the financial year ending 31 March 2015 amounted to Rs15 per share.

''We have delivered another year of strong performance with broad-based growth ahead of the market and sustained margin improvement. Our strategy remains focused on strengthening the core of our business through innovation, leading market development and continuous improvement of our executional capabilities.

Despite market challenges, our strategic agenda remains unchanged as we continue to manage our business even more dynamically for growth that is consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible,'' chairman Harish Manwani said.

HUL reported double digit growth in all it product categories except soaps and detergents and others (which includes exports, water, infant care products).

During the quarter, revenue from soap and detergents increased by 5.04 per cent to Rs3,673.71 crore and sale of personal products increased by 13.43 per cent to Rs2,249.68 crore.

Revenue from beverages grew by 12.32 per cent to Rs976.15 crore and that from packaged foods increased by 13.61 per cent to Rs476.83 crore.

HUL's net sales in the year ended March 31, 2015 stood at Rs 30,170.50 crore compared with Rs 27,408.29 crore in the previous year.

The board of directors of the company has proposed a final dividend of Rs9 per share.