Hindustan Unilever Ltd. reported profit jumped 21% year over year in the fiscal second quarter of 2020, beating market expectations, with strong growth in most of its segments.
For the three months ended Sept. 30, the Mumbai-based subsidiary of The Unilever Group reported profit of 18.48 billion Indian rupees after incorporating the reduction in corporate tax rate, compared with 15.25 billion rupees a year ago. The profit beat S&P Global Market Intelligence GAAP net income estimates of 18.07 billion rupees.
Total segment revenue was 98.52 billion rupees, rising 6.7% from 92.34 billion rupees in the year-ago period. Revenue from sales of products rose 6% to 97.08 billion rupees.
Sales in home care segment grew 9% to 33.71 billion rupees, beauty and personal care sales rose 5% rise to 45.43 billion rupees, and food and refreshment business grew 8% to 18.47 billion rupees.
"Margin expansion was driven by improved mix, benign commodity price movement in our large segments and our savings agenda," the company said in a statement.
Diluted EPS came in at 8.54 rupees, up from 7.04 rupees in the year-ago period.
The company expects the near-term outlook for demand especially in rural India to remain "challenging" but expressed confidence in the government to take "all necessary steps for higher income transference to rural India."
The company's board declared an interim dividend of 11 rupees per share for the period ended Sept. 30, up from the semi-annual bonus of 9 rupees a share a year ago.
Separately, the Indian company named Willem Uijen as a board member and executive director of its supply chain, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Uijen will succeed Pradeep Banerjee who is retiring from the role.
As of Oct. 11, US$1 was equivalent to 70.93 Indian rupees.