Delivered strong double digit domestic volumes growth consecutively for 2nd quarter in a row in Q4FY18
Harish Manwani, Chairman & Sanjeev Mehta, MD, HUL
May 18, 2018 | Source: Business-Standard
On Q4FY18: Hindustan Unilever (HUL) reported a strong 16% underlying revenue growth in domestic consumer business led by 11% broad base volume growth (UVG)
On Rural: The MD & CEO said that rural growth has improved and was ahead of urban growth in Q4FY18 and this is a good sign. However on sustained demand conditions, the management has indicated that they would wait for a couple more quarters to clearly indicate a stable trend in demand. Further, to understand the impact of rural demand Mr. Mehta said that the base quarter was distorted due to demonetization, GST etc.
The Chairman reiterated that HUL will continue to be focused on being competitive when it comes to growth and that will not change.
On Price Hike: To maintain strong volume growth the Chairman, Mr. Manwani said the company will take judicious price hikes keeping in mind all factors as HUL is in the business to create value for consumer and thus are not driven by a cost-plus model of pricing. Mr. Mehta, the MD & CEO said that commodity inflation needs to be closely watched and accordingly the company may take price hikes based on its portfolio where it becomes necessary to take one. But the focus of HUL will be on reporting volume led growth and thus will not take their eyes off it.
On Cost Savings: For HUL, cost savings today at 1.7x the savings seen in 2014. To this the Chairman said that there are three aspects to this Growth, Cost and Speed. 1) The growth dimension demands innovation and execution and HUL was focused on both. 2) Cost is another factor and thus involves driving operational efficiencies and again HUL is focused on this. 3) Agility of the organization, the company is working towards this despite its large size.
Outlook on consumer goods market: Mr. Mehta said, consumption in the future should get a fillip owing to two factors, 1) GST implementation which has lowered the MRP’s and thus has driven affordability. 2) Government’s efforts to help people in rural areas should further aid consumption.