Hindustan Unilever posted its first profit growth in three quarters for October-December 2009, driven by robust sales of skin creams. The company reported a 5.5 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 649 crore from Rs 615 crore in the same quarter of 2008. That is a shade lower than the Rs 661 crore average forecast of 17 analysts compiled by Bloomberg News. Net sales stood at Rs 4,504 crore, a rise of 4.5 per cent.
“We are seeing good results from the actions that we have taken to drive growth. Volume growth accelerated in the quarter, backed by quality innovations, increased brand support and continued focus on market execution. We are committed to strengthening our market leadership and will invest appropriately in an increasingly competitive environment,” Chairman Harish Manwani said in a statement.
A fall in commodity prices helped to keep costs in check. The margins also received help from cost-saving programmes. The company said it would drive cost efficiencies even harder in 2010. According to the company, 75 per cent of its portfolio saw robust growth.