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HUL Profit Tops As Indians Spend More On Personal Care

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Hindustan Unilever Ltd, the Indian unit of Anglo-Dutch consumer group Unilever Plc, reported a higher quarterly profit that beat market expectations as shoppers bought more of its soaps, shampoos and other personal care products after months of thrift.
Shares in the company rose 3.3 percent to Rs 894.55 on the National Stock Exchange.
Hindustan Unilever sells everyday consumer goods like Lux soap, Lipton tea and Dove shampoos through thousands of mom-and-pop shops as well as big retailers across the country. Sales at the company are widely seen as an indicator of consumer demand in the country.
Net sales rose 8.9 percent to Rs 7555 crore ($1.18 billion) for the quarter eneded March 31. Its domestic consumer business grew 8.6 per cent.
Hindustan Unilever had been hit in the last few quarters by weaker consumer demand in Asia's third-largest economy.
The company said on Friday its standalone net profit for the quarter was Rs 1018 crore ($159.14 million), compared with Rs 872 crore a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of Rs 967 crore, according to Thomson Reuters data.


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