FMCG firm Marico said its India business posted low single-digit volume growth in the second quarter of the ongoing fiscal. In a quarterly update, the company said demand sentiment in India trended on similar lines as the preceding quarter during most of the second quarter, with some signs of positivity in the last month.
"With retail inflation holding firm, downtrading in rural (areas) was still prevalent during the quarter. Urban and premium discretionary segments continued to fare better," it said in a regulatory filing.
The company's flagship Parachute coconut oil recorded a low single-digit volume decline although, "the brand witnessed improving trends towards the end of the quarter aided by the enhanced value proposition in the prevailing soft copra price environment".
Value-added hair oils grew in low single digits in value terms, mainly dragged by the subdued rural sentiment, it said, adding that Saffola oils recovered with high single-digit volume growth on a normalized base following a cut in retail prices in keeping with the correction and reduced volatility in vegetable oil prices.
Foods category also "grew in the mid-twenties with a broad-based performance across the portfolio", while premium personal care maintained positive momentum, the company added.
On the outlook, Marico said, "Consumption trends should improve in the second half of the fiscal given retail inflation is expected to cool off as a result of government interventions, moderating commodity inflation pressures and reasonably healthy spatial distribution of monsoons."
Higher crop realizations and the upcoming festive season should also provide a fillip to overall sentiment, it added.
The international business maintained its strong run, delivering double-digit constant currency growth, the company said, adding that each of the markets contributed positively, despite global macro and geopolitical uncertainties. Consolidated revenue in the quarter grew in low single digits on a year-on-year basis, Marico said without disclosing details.