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Anglo-Dutch Unilever arm HUL’s Q1 profit dips 23%

FMCG giant Hindustan Unilever on Friday  reported a  23.43 per cent decline in standalone net profit at Rs 1,019.25 crore for the first quarter ended 30 June, 2013, on account of an exceptional income generated in the same quarter last year from the sale of properties.
The company had reported standalone net profit of Rs 1,331.19 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. HUL's net sales during the period under review increased by 6.99 per cent to Rs 6,687.49 crore in the quarter under review as against Rs 6,250.15 crore in the corresponding period last year, the company said in a statement.

Explaining the reasons for the decline in net profit, HUL said in the year-ago quarter it had an income of Rs 607.24 crore from exceptional items, which included sale of properties. For the same quarter this year, the credit from exceptional items was at Rs 106.25 crore.

Commenting on the company's performance, HUL chairman Harish Manwani said: 'In a difficult market environment, we have again delivered competitive growth and strong margin expansion through a sustained focus on innovation, in-market execution and robust cost management.'
'While there are near term concerns particularly around slowing market growth, we are confident of the medium to long term growth prospects of the FMCG sector and our strategy of driving growth and profitability through innovation and operational excellence,' he added.

During the quarter, revenue from soap and detergents increased by 7.33 per cent to Rs 3,407.66 crore, personal products increased by 1.96 per cent to Rs 1,883.38 crore. HUL CFO R Sridhar said that the discretionary products are under pressure. 'Fair & Lovely sales declined in the quarter but there are clear plans to accelerate growth momentum for Fair & Lovely.'

Revenue from beverages grew by 15.79 per cent to Rs 757.37 crore and packaged food increased by 4.78 per cent to Rs 457.88 crore. Total expenses were at Rs 5,789.88 crore, an increase of 5.84 per cent compared with Rs 5469.95 crore last year.In the first quarter, HUL'S parent Unilever PLC increased its stake in the Indian arm to 67.28 per cent from 52.48 per cent, following an open offer which commenced on 21 June.
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