Colgate-Palmolive’s Indian unit’s Q2 profit rises on higher demand

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Colgate-Palmolive (India) reported a 22% rise in the second-quarter profit on Thursday, aided by rising urban demand for high-priced toothpastes and signs of growth in rural consumption.

The company’s net profit rose to 3.40 billion rupees ($40.86 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with 2.78 billion rupees a year earlier.

Sales rose 6.1% to 14.62 billion rupees, helped by its mainstay oral care category.

The rise of premium oral hygiene products has given customers with larger incomes access to higher-quality options. Intensive marketing efforts and increased distribution, meanwhile, have boosted demand in rural areas.

“In this quarter we have doubled down on the (flagship) Colgate Strong Teeth (toothpaste) relaunch, expanding reach and availability,” Colgate-Palmolive (India) CEO Prabha Narasimhan said in a statement.

Last week, rival Hindustan Unilever reported a bigger-than-expected increase in profit as it benefited from increased sales from its beauty, home, and personal care segments.

Colgate Palmolive (India), which also makes handwash and shower gel, declared its first interim dividend of 22 rupees per share for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

Shares of the company fell 1.9% on Thursday ahead of its results. The stock has risen 32.4% this year compared with a 15.3% gain in the Nifty index for fast-moving consumer goods.

($1 = 83.2103 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Navamya Ganesh Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)