FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd reported a decline of 2.62 per cent in its standalone net profit at Rs. 962.24 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2015-16.
The company had posted net profit of Rs. 988.16 crore in the July-September quarter of the 2014-15 fiscal.
HUL’s net sales however climbed 4.74 per cent to Rs. 7,819.64 crore during the quarter under review as against Rs. 7,465.54 crore in the earlier quarter, the company said in a BSE filing.
In relief for investors, HUL managed to post 7 per cent volume growth, beating 6 per cent growth achieved in the June quarter. Price cuts across segments helped HUL achieve better-than-expected volume growth, analysts said.
EBITDA or operating margin improved by 76 basis points year-on-year to 16.96 per cent. HUL’s margins, over the last few quarters, have been helped by lower commodity prices.
Hindustan Unilever said sales were higher during the quarter, helped by a 5% increase in domestic consumer business with a 7% underlying volume growth. During the quarter, lower input costs resulted in a 320 basis points reduction in cost of goods sold, the company said.
“The deflationary commodity cost environment is likely to continue in the near term and our strategy of delivering consistent and competitive growth with sustainable improvement in operating margin remains unchanged,” Harish Manwani, chairman of Hindustan Unilever said in a statement.