The Mint Report for 09 May 2011

The Mint Report for 09 May 2011

It’s back to status quo for India’s most controversial land dispute. On Monday the Supreme Court stayed the Allahabad high court’s 2010 ruling on Ayodhya. The court pointed out that none of the litigants in the case had asked for a partition of the site. It added that the decision needed to be “corrected." Back in September, the Allahabad High Court had declared the disputed site should be split, with two Hindus groups getting a third each and a Muslim group being awarded the remaining one-third.

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Moving to corporate, Hindustan Unilever is thriving on volume. The consumer goods giant reported better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter. While net profit declined 2% to Rs569 crore, the drop was smaller than many had feared. HUL profit was helped along by a one-time gain of Rs91 crore. That came from the sale of some investments.

But the main driver of HUL’s profits was volume. Sales during the period jumped 13.5% to Rs4,899 crore. Like other firms, HUL has been struggling with high raw material costs, mainly palm and crude oils. But persistent food inflation has also taken a toll. Shares of the firm jumped 3.55% on the BSE to 284.45.

Indian markets ended Monday flat after a choppy day of trade. The Sensex closed 10 points higher at 18,529. And the Nifty finished virtually unchanged at 5,551.