Mumbai: India’s biggest consumer goods maker, Hindustan Unilever, on Monday posted a 14% rise in quarterly profit, lagging forecasts, as high raw-material costs weighed on strong sales of personal products.
The unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever said net profit rose to Rs3.81 billion in its first quarter from Rs3.34 billion a year earlier. The March quarter 2007 figure excluded an exceptional item of Rs590 million.
The figure lagged a net profit forecast of Rs3.89 billion in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.
Lever, which makes Lux soap, Surf detergent and Lipton tea, is spinning off smaller units to focus on its core portfolio as it faces greater competition from international and local rivals, including top cigarette maker ITC Ltd .
Shares in Hindustan Unilever, which has a market value of more than $13 billion, rose 7% in the March quarter, beating a 1.3% decline for the sector and a 23% fall on the main share index.