Colgate-Palmolive India posts Q3 profit jump on lower expenses, urban demand

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Colgate-Palmolive (India) reported a 35.7% jump in third-quarter profit on Monday, aided by healthy urban demand and a fall in expenses.

Net profit rose to 3.30 billion rupees ($39.7 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31 from 2.43 billion rupees a year earlier.

Sales of consumer goods makers have been boosted by urban consumers with higher average income, even in the face of elevated prices of essential goods.

Total expenses fell 0.5%, helped by lower inventory and raw material costs.

The Indian arm of the U.S. consumer goods major reported an 8.2% increase in sales to 13.86 billion rupees, helped by its core oral care category.

The company also ran a campaign during the quarter that reached over 300 million people in urban India, CEO Prabha Narasimhan said in a statement.

Rival Hindustan Unilever posted a smaller-than-expected increase in quarterly profit on Friday, as competition intensified in the consumer goods sector and demand in rural markets remained weak.

Additionally, Dabur India, set to report results next week, said earlier this month that it expects mid- to high-single-digit growth in consolidated revenue for the third quarter, citing subdued pricing growth and disparity in demand between rural and urban areas.

Shares of Colgate-Palmolive rose 0.26% so far this year, contrasting a 1.8% decline in the Nifty FMCG index.

($1 = 83.1340 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto and Navamya Ganesh Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)