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Results for the quarter ended 30th September 2023

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4% Underlying Sales Growth, 2% Underlying Volume Growth, 12% Profit After Tax (bei) Growth.

A collage of HUL brands such as Lipton, Comfort, Pond's, Kwality Wall's and Lakme.

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) announced its results for the quarter ended 30th September 2023.

September Quarter 2023: Resilient performance in a challenging environment

HUL delivered a resilient and competitive performance in SQ’23 with Underlying Sales Growth [1] (USG) of 4% and Underlying Volume Growth [2] (UVG) of 2%. EBITDA margin at 24.6% was up 130 bps YoY. Profit After Tax before exceptional items (PAT bei) grew 12% and Profit After Tax (PAT) grew 4%. In the quarter, there was a one-off credit from favourable resolution of past indirect tax litigation benefiting both topline and bottomline. Excluding this one-off, USG, UVG, EBITDA margin, PAT (bei) growth would have been 3%, 2%, 23.8% and 7% respectively.

Home Care: Volume led growth on a very high base

Home Care grew 3% with mid-single digit UVG. Fabric Wash had mid-single digit volume growth with the premium portfolio continuing to outperform. Household care volumes grew in high single digit led by Dishwash. Further price reductions were taken in both Fabric Wash and Household Care. Brand and marketing investments were stepped-up to protect our competitive position. During the quarter, Vim Pure range with plant-based actives and Comfort Intense Fabric Conditioner were launched.

Beauty & Personal Care: Mid-single digit volume led growth

Beauty & Personal Care grew 4% with mid-single digit UVG. Skin Cleansing had a low-single digit volume growth with Lux and Hamam continuing to outperform. Revenue declined as further price reductions were taken in soaps. Skin Care and Colour Cosmetics grew double-digit driven by focused interventions in new demand spaces and channels of the future. Hair Care delivered high-single digit growth with Clinic Plus and Indulekha continuing to outperform. Oral Care grew mid-single digit led by Closeup. Key launches in this quarter include new range of Vaseline moisturizers, Lakme serums and cosmetics, Pond’s serum, Indulekha Anti-Dandruff Oil and Shampoo.

Foods & Refreshment: Mid-single digit growth driven by pricing

Foods & Refreshment grew 4%. Tea delivered a modest growth as the category continued to witness consumers downgrading. Coffee grew in double-digits. HFD delivered mid-single digit price led growth, broad-based across the portfolio. Foods and Ice Cream both grew in mid-single digit on a high base. Foods Solutions, Mayonnaise and Peanut Butter continue to clock strong growths. During the quarter, Horlicks Strength Plus, Slow Churn Ice Cream and new blends of Lipton Green Tea were launched.

Building back Gross Margin and stepping up in Advertising & Promotions

Gross Margin and A&P investments increased 700 bps and 420 bps respectively vs SQ’22. EBITDA margin at 24.6% was up 130 bps YoY. PAT at Rs 2,717 Crores grew 4% YoY. PAT (bei) grew 12% YoY. The difference in PAT(bei) and PAT growths is largely due to higher prior period tax credits in SQ’22.

Interim dividend: The Board of Directors declared an interim dividend of INR 18/- per share for year ending 31st March 2024.

Rohit Jawa, CEO and Managing Director commented: ‘We delivered a resilient and competitive growth whilst stepping up our EBITDA margin in a challenging operating environment, marked by subdued rural demand and heightened competitive intensity.

Looking forward we remain cautiously optimistic. FMCG demand is likely to continue a gradual recovery with tailwinds from the upcoming festive season, sustained buoyancy of services and Government’s thrust on capex. At the same time, we need to be watchful of volatile global commodity prices as well as the impact of monsoon on crop output and reservoir levels. In this context, our focus is to provide superior value to our consumers, drive competitive volume growth, and invest behind our brands.

We remain confident of the mid to long term potential of Indian FMCG sector and HUL’s ability to deliver a Consistent, Competitive, Profitable and Responsible growth. ‘

[1]

Underlying sales growth (USG) refers to the increase in turnover for the period, excluding any change in turnover resulting from acquisitions, disposal.

[2]

Underlying volume growth (UVG) refers to volume growth including the impact of mix of turnover realization of products sold.

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