Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on Wednesday reported a 19 per cent growth in net profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 2020 that met Street estimates as the economy recovered and more number of people stepped out of their homes. 

The FMCG giant posted a standalone net profit of Rs 1,921 crore against Rs 1,616-crore profit in the same period of the previous year.


Domestic consumer growth — setting aside the impact of the merger of GSK Consumer Healthcare and the acquisition of VWash — grew at 7 per cent with underlying volume growth at four per cent. In the preceding quarter, domestic volume growth was one per cent.

HUL said higher mobility among the population, consumer relevant innovations and investments in market development are driving the business. Its fundamentals remain strong with 86 per cent of the business gaining penetration. 

Health, hygiene and nutrition forming close to 80 percent of its portfolio continues to grow in double digits, while discretionary categories reported significant improvement. 

During the quarter, sales grew to Rs 11,682 crore from Rs 9,696 crore in the year ago period a growth of 20.48 per cent.

“With Covid cases coming down sharply and increasing mobility, economic activity in the country continues to improve. The rapid rollout of vaccines will give further impetus to economic growth. Our consumer relevant innovations, market development and execution excellence have enabled us to drive broad based growth across our categories in the December quarter,” Sanjiv Mehta, chairman and managing director of HUL, said while commenting on the results.

“I am particularly pleased with the performance of our Nutrition business and with the recovery in the discretionary segments of our portfolio, these are structurally attractive and offer immense growth potential.”  

Mehta said the near-term demand outlook was improving and the company expects to see revival in the urban markets while rural markets fare well.

CFO change

HUL on Wednesday said it has appointed Ritesh Tiwari as chief financial officer, while incumbent Srinivas Phatak will move to parent firm Unilever’s headquarters in London. 

Srinavas Phatak, chief financial officer, said  in the urban markets HUL has staged a turnaround. Growth has come back to positive territory from flat to negative in the preceding three months.

During the quarter, sales growth in the foods & refreshment and beauty & personal care segments stood at 19 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively.

Shares of HUL on Wednesday settled at Rs 2,390.75 on BSE, down 0.87 per cent from the previous close.