FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is slated to release its September quarter earnings on Friday.
Majority of the brokerages expect the company to report healthy numbers for the second quarter of FY19. It had reported a 19.17 per cent increase in standalone net profit at Rs 15.29 billion for Q1FY19, led by underlying volume growth of 12 per cent and sustained margin improvements.
We expect HUL to record a volume growth of nearly 8-8.5 per cent YoY on a base of 4 per cent YoY growth. So two-year average volume growth trajectory of earlier quarters likely to be maintained. Volume growth is likely to be stronger on the back of improving sentiment, rural pickup, increasing consumer spending, trade channels absolutely returning to normalcy. Some price hikes are also in the system and expect nearly 1-1.5 per cent price hikes. 3 per cent price hikes should be seen from Q3FY19 onwards. HUL has also heightened its competitive intensity in the oral care category. Rural has stepped up which, too, is helping in overall growth. With respect to pricing, a blended price hike of ~1per cent YoY can be expected. This will give an overall revenue growth of nearly 9-10 per cent YoY. We expect HUL to report higher ad spends too to back their new launches. Performance of Lever Ayush would be monitorable.
The brokerage says revenue growth should be driven by volume growth of 9 per cent. We expect Home Care and Personal care to report sales growth of 12-13 per cent, while foods and refreshment to report 9 per cent growth. Due to lower other overheads, the company should report a margin expansion. Net sales are expected to come in at Rs 92,442 million, up 11.3 per cent YoY while EBITDA is estimated to grow 18.8 per cent YoY at Rs 19,974 million. PAT (profit after tax) is expected at Rs 14,479 million, up 17.1 per cent.
The company is likely to witness 13.6 per cent sales growth mainly led by volume growth of 7- 8 per cent on account of supply chain benefits under GST regime in addition to price hikes of nearly 5per cent taken during the quarter. The company should be able to report 149 bps expansion in operating margins to 21.7per cent in spite of higher raw material & advertisement costs, benefiting from a focus on premiumisation, cost-cutting and market share gains. We expect net profit to grow 16.5per cent to Rs 1,494.6 crore.