Categories Concall Highlights, Consumer, Earnings

Hindustan Unilever Ltd Q1 FY23 Earnings Conference Call Insights

Key highlights from Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HINDUNILVR) Q1 FY23 Earnings Concall

Management Update:

  • HINDUNILVR said that COGS will be higher in September quarter as price versus cost gap widens. However added that the company will continue to extensively drive productivity improvement in its business and take calibrated pricing action.

Q&A Highlights:

  • Abneesh Roy from Edelweiss asked about the time frame for double digit growth in health food drinks. Sanjiv Mehta CEO replied that the company continues to focus on the fundamentals of the business. Had COVID and inflation not happened, HINDUNILVR would have bounced back strongly. The company added that it’s a very profitable business and while there is a stress on top line growth, the company is still very bullish about its future.
  • Vivek Maheshwari of Jefferies asked about rural from a demand standpoint. Sanjiv Mehta CEO answered that the rural demand from a value growth perspective, total FMCG is 7%, urban above 9% and rural about 4%. On volume growth, Urban is minus 3% and rural is minus 7%. The rural demand still remains soft.
  • Latika Chopra with JP Morgan asked about Homecare category trends. Ritesh Tiwari CFO said that in Homecare the performance has been robust at a 30% growth. Fabric conditioner and liquid detergents are strong contributors to homecare category for the company.
  • Avi Mehta from Macquarie enquired that in rural if the company looks to change the focus to volume growth instead of market share. Sanjiv Mehta CEO said that the company’s focus on market shares is both on volume and value.
  • Percy Panthaki of IIFL asked that assuming commodity prices remain where they are, how long would it take to restore the EBITDA margins to the 25% mark. Ritesh Tiwari CFO said that palm oil price is an important driver how commodity plays out from Dec. quarter onwards. So it will have to see how various variables play out.
  • Percy Panthaki of IIFL enquired about detergent market share gain and if it’s more accentuated towards the mass end, mid end or premium end. Sanjiv Mehta CEO said the company is gaining shares across the portfolio and the gain is across the price tier.
  • Amit Sachdeva from HSBC asked if the company needs newer brand other than Ponds. Sanjiv Mehta CEO replied that there would be a need for more brands and one will see the space evolving, because a brand cannot be everything for everyone.

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