(Reuters) - Consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever Ltd posted a 19 percent rise in its first-quarter profit on Monday but slightly missed analysts’ expectations as cost of materials climbed.
The company expects gradual improvement in demand in the near term, Hindustan Unilever said, adding crude oil volatility and currency led inflation are the key risks in the coming months.
Profit came in at 15.29 billion rupees ($222.9 million) in the three months ended June 30, compared with 12.83 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 15.42 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Revenue from the company’s home care segment, which includes brands such as Surf Excel and Vim, rose 3.2 percent to 31.46 billion rupees.
Quarterly cost of materials was up 16 percent even though overall expenses dropped slightly from the year-earlier quarter, when the company recorded an excise duty payment of 6.93 billion rupees.
($1 = 68.6175 Indian rupees)
Reporting By Aby Jose Koilparambil and Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru