HLL Q1 net declines 14.6 pc at Rs 258 cr Sales go up 6.5 per cent

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Our Bureau

Mumbai, April 29

HINDUSTAN Lever Ltd (HLL) on Friday reported a 14.58 per cent decline in its first quarter profit after tax (before exceptional items) to Rs 258.72 crore from the previous corresponding Rs 302.91 crore. Net profit after exceptional items was Rs 250.25 crore (Rs 294.88 crore).

Input cost increases mainly brought on by rising crude oil prices continued to impact profit margins.

The company's net sales moved up by 6.5 per cent to Rs 2,506.38 crore (Rs 2,353.34 crore) with revenues from domestic FMCG-HPC business up 9.64 per cent at Rs 1,724.38 crore (Rs 1,572.81 crore) and that of foods (including ice cream) dipping by 2.96 per cent to Rs 389.86 crore (Rs 401.76 crore).

Exports gained to Rs 342.14 crore (Rs 303.70 crore), while other income inched up to Rs 74.64 crore (Rs 71.35 crore). Total expenditure increased by 13.52 per cent to Rs 2,262.91 crore (Rs 1,993.43 crore), including a 17.36 per cent rise in cost of raw materials and packaging to Rs 1,147.43 crore (Rs 977.66 crore).

Gross profit was lower at Rs 313.55 crore (Rs 399.47 crore) with profit before interest and tax down by 26.84 per cent to Rs 262.62 crore (Rs 358.96 crore). "Underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) adjusting for the one off credit of Rs 34 crore in March quarter 04 declined by 19 per cent. The underlying EBIT decline is due to continuing brand investment and unprecedented crude oil related input cost increases not fully neutralised by price increase and cost savings in the quarter,'' HLL's official statement on the results said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 30, 2005)
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