MUMBAI: is expected to report a 26 per cent year-on-year rise in net profit at Rs 1,908 crore for the quarter ended March aided by a low base in the year-ago quarter, according to analysts polled by

The country’s largest fast-moving consumer goods company is also likely to report a 31 per cent on-year growth in its topline to Rs 11,787 crore largely led by strong volume growth recovery.

The FMCG company will report its March quarter earnings on Thursday.

The company’s performance in the year-ago quarter was severely affected by the national lockdown, announced in the last week of March 2020, and the slowdown in the Indian economy prior to the beginning of the pandemic.

In the reported quarter, the company’s discretionary product portfolio is expected to have done well due to revival in consumer demand prior to the second wave of the Covid-19 infection. Analysts believe that the company could report 15 per cent growth in volumes and a 4 per cent rise in prices due to hikes taken in some products.

Company is seeing demand rebalancing. Hygiene products, which were seeing tailwinds, are normalizing and the discretionary products portfolio is picking up well, said Edelweiss Securities.

The company’s operating performance in the quarter is expected to be strong with a growth of 40 per cent on a year-on-year basis to Rs 2,894 crore.

Besides the earnings performance, investors’ focus will be on the management’s commentary in light of the second wave and the re-emergence of localized lockdowns. Investors will seek clarity on the impact of restrictions on distributions and inventory.

Analysts will also be keen to understand the management’s views on the impact of the surging agriculture commodity prices globally.

Shares of Hindustan Unilever ended 1 per cent higher at Rs 2,404 on the National Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

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