Sunday, July 31, 2005

Hindustan Lever posts profit for q2

India's top consumer goods maker, Hindustan Lever Ltd., has reported a forecast-beating 17 percent rise in quarterly profit on improved sales and claimed that it was ready to fight to stay the market leader. In its second quarter to end-June, the brand's net profit rose to 3.0 billion rupees from 2.56 billion a year earlier. Sales rose more than 10 percent to 28.36 billion rupees, also beating a median forecast of 27.82 billion. Hindustan Lever had seen net profit slide for five consecutive quarters on high raw material costs and sluggish sales. It was also caught in a price war in detergents and shampoos with the local arm of Procter & Gamble last year. But it has since raised product prices, relaunched some brands, and benefitted from tax changes and fiscal benefits for new plants in some states.