The Hindustan Unilever stock was trading marginally lower on Thursday after the FMCG firm reported a 16.42 per cent jump in its standalone net profit at Rs 1,276 crore for the September quarter, taking advantage of lower expenses. The firm posted a net profit of Rs 1,096 crore during the same period of the previous fiscal.
At 12:12 pm, the stock was trading 0.67 percent or 8.55 points lower at Rs 1,265 on the BSE.
The earnings were announced after market hours yesterday.
The stock is up 52 .69 percent since the beginning of this year.
On an yearly basis, the stock is up 50.24 percent on the BSE.
Its market capitalisation stood at Rs 2.73 lakh crore.
Net sales during the quarter under review stood at Rs 8,199 crore as against Rs 8,335 crore in the year-ago period, down 1.63 per cent.
"The impact of GST was during the early part of the quarter, but overall the transition to GST has been smooth," HUL CFO P B Balaji said in a conference call.
With regard to inventory levels getting back to normal, he said it is fair to say the urban channel has almost gone back to normal and the rural area is rapidly picking up.
On the outlook, Balaji said the company expects the rural demand to pick up and is banking on good monsoon this season, among other factors. HUL's expenses in the second quarter were down 5.95 per cent at Rs 6,748 crore compared to Rs 7,175 crore during July-September last fiscal.
"In a challenging business environment, we delivered a particularly strong overall performance. This reflects the strength of our brands and our relentless focus on execution in the market place," HUL Chairman Harish Manwani said.
Standalone net profit last quarter stood at Rs 1,283 crore. Revenue from the personal care segment during the quarter in question was at Rs 3,910 crore as against Rs 4,028 crore a year earlier. The figure from homecare stood at Rs 2,739 crore compared to the earlier Rs 2,777 crore.
The refreshment category chipped in with Rs 1,222 crore during the quarter as against Rs 1,169 crore previously. On outlook, Manwani said: "Despite short-term challenges, we are confident of the medium-term outlook for the FMCG industry and remain focussed on driving consumer value and profitable volume-driven growth."
"Trade conditions continue to improve and the wholesale channel is steadily normalising," the company said. Meanwhile, the company's board has declared an interim dividend of Rs 8 per share of face value Re 1 each for the year that ends next March.
(With PTI inputs)