Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL), on Friday, reported a 17 per cent growth in net profit for the second quarter of 2012-13 at Rs.807 crore.
The growth in profit was aided by an 83 per cent jump in other income to Rs.149 crore. During the period, total income was up 12 per cent at Rs.6,311 crore while operating profit was up 19.4 per cent at Rs.919 crore. Raw material costs rose by 18 per cent to Rs.2,701 crore and advertising spends by a similar margin to Rs.769 crore.
During the quarter, volume growth slowed to 7 per cent from 9 per cent in the preceding quarter. HUL’s sales from soaps and detergents business rose 22 per cent to Rs.3,176 crore while personal products sales were up 12 per cent at Rs.1,745 crore. Beverages and packaged foods grew 10 per cent to Rs.720 crore and Rs.3,663 crore, respectively.
In a statement, Harish Manwani, Chairman, said, “In a volatile and uncertain environment, we continue to sustain our growth momentum while steadily improving our margins. Our consistent performance is being driven by relentless focus on brand building, bigger and better innovations and disciplined execution in the marketplace.”
The statement said the directors of HUL declared an interim dividend of Rs.4.5 per share. In addition, it declared Rs.8 per share as a special dividend. This will be paid out of the accumulated P&L balance and exceptional income generated in the first-half of 2012-13 and will be funded from the current cash balances.
The company last announced a special dividend in October 2007 when a Special Platinum Jubilee dividend of Rs.3 per share was paid.
“The payment of the special dividend provides a cash return to our shareholders from accumulated profits built up from the company’s consistent performance over the last few years and the exceptional income generated from the sale of properties in the first-half of this year,’’ Mr. Manwani said in a statement.