New Delhi: The maker of Ayurvedic personal care and food products Dabur India Ltd, posted a 22.8% rise in its net profit, to Rs96.59 crore for the second quarter ended 30 September, compared with Rs78.65 crore in the year-ago period as it managed its costs better and sold more goods such as its well-known Babool toothpaste.

“Dabur India has recorded strong growth in key categories such as oral care, health supplements, digestives and home care," Sunil Duggal, chief executive officer, Dabur India, said in a statement. Sales by revenue at the consumer care division, the largest business unit within Dabur and the home care category grew 14% during the second quarter. The foods division grew by 26.7% during the first half of the current fiscal. “Dabur’s results are good but less than what we expected," said Mihir Shah, an analyst with Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt. Ltd, a Mumbai-based brokerage house. “The increase in sales has been driven by growth in product categories such as toothpaste led by Babool and shampoos."

Well-rounded performance: Sunil Duggal, chief executive of Dabur India.

The company’s turnover for the second quarter increased by 12.4% to Rs634.32 crore, from Rs564.13 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

“Effective cost management coupled with easing of inflationary pressures helped us improve the Ebitda margin by 90 basis points during the period," Duggal said.

For the half year ended 30 September, net profit grew by 25.2% to Rs158.80 crore, compared with Rs126.87 crore in the year-ago period.

The turnover for the half-year stood at Rs1,205.20 crore, against Rs1,039.64 crore a year earlier—a jump of 15.9%.

Dabur’s international business recorded a 31% growth during the first half of the year. “Sales in the Gulf Cooperation Council region surged 42.3%, while Dabur Egypt grew by 47%," P.D. Narang, group director, Dabur India, said. “Sales in the US also reported a healthy 64% growth." Dabur’s board announced an interim dividend of 75% for fiscal 2008, aggregating to a payout of Rs64.80 crore.