Companies

2nd wave impact not very bad: HUL

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 30, 2021

Sanjiv Mehta   -  Businessline

No disruption yet to manufacturing units, supply chains, says CMD Sanjiv Mehta

With all its units running and supply chains intact, India’s largest FMCG company Hindustan Unilever Ltd on Thursday said that it remains very bullish on India’s growth story. The disruption in business is not as severe as what the company experienced last year. While it had to shut most of its factories last year, HUL has not closed any of its manufacturing units in the Covid-19 second wave-induced localised lockdowns.

“I firmly believe it is not going to be as bad as what happened in the June quarter of last year. All our factories are running. Right now, supply chains are running and even in places where there are localised lockdowns, stores are open in most places. So, the business, albeit impacted to some extent, is still running,” said Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, HUL India, while announcing the company’s fourth quarter numbers.

Posts 45% rise in profit

HUL posted a consolidated net profit of ₹2,191 crore three-month period ended March 31, 2021, a 45 per cent increase over the corresponding quarter last year. Domestic consumer growth was 21 per cent with the underlying volume expansion of 16 per cent. The health, hygiene and nutrition segment, forming around 80 per cent of the company’s business, grew in double-digit for the third consecutive quarter.

 

Asked about the demand outlook amid as the Covid second wave rages across the country, Mehta said, “We had a great momentum coming into this new fiscal year and the first two weeks of the new year (first two weeks of April) were again the same momentum building on. While disruption will be a way of life, I believe we have also learnt to navigate through this turbulence much better than what we were in the beginning of the pandemic,” he said.

Others, too, see low impact

Mehta’s views have been echoed by other India Inc leaders, too. Bajaj Auto said on Thursday it will not change its investment plans and product launches for this year, nor will it be realigning its sales target.

“...at this point in time, we will not revisit any of our decisions. We... follow a rolling forecast model... We have a lot of capex and innovations lined up and none of them will go slow,” Bajaj Auto CFO Soumen Ray told BusinessLine.

On Wednesday, Maruti Suzuki India said that there is no impact on its sales or production as of now, though 1,280 employees were down with Covid-19. The company’s investment plan will not change for this year, Chairman RC Bhargava had said.

Published on April 29, 2021

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