Hindustan Unilever, the Indian unit of Unilever Plc, posted a 7% growth in fourth quarter profits, due in part to sales of its packaged food and hair and skin care products. For the quarter ending March 31, 2016, the company reported a net income of 10.90 billion rupees ($164 million), compared with 10.18 billion rupees the year prior. Mumbai-based brokerage ICICI Securities expected a profit of 10.62 billion rupees from the company.
According to Asia Nikkei, sales volume grew 4%, less than the 6% in the previous quarter, partly by passing the benefits of lower commodity prices on to buyers. Hindustan Unilever has suffered from weakened demand in rural India, which has faced drought for two years. Rural consumers make up more than one-third of the company's sales. However, sales volumes are hoped to improve with expectations for a good monsoon, a Reuters report stated.