Havells India posts marginal rise in Q3 profit

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Home appliances maker Havells India on Tuesday reported a marginal growth in third-quarter profit, as demand for its wires and cables largely compensated for slower consumer goods sales growth.

The company reported a profit of 2.88 billion rupees ($34.7 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to 2.84 billion rupees last year.

Revenue from Havells’ biggest segment, cables and wires, grew 11.4%. It contributes about 36% of the total revenue.

This largely made up for slower growth in sales of consumer goods, as consumers cut back on non-essential spending due to elevated prices of essential goods.

Havells’ Lloyd segment, which sells air-conditioners and washing machines, posted a wider loss of 651.7 million rupees, compared with a loss of 596.3 million rupees last year.

Despite easing prices of key raw material copper, its total expenses rose 7.6%.

The company flagged higher advertising and sales promotion expenses amid the country’s festive season, which included Diwali and Christmas.

Rival Polycab India posted a 15.4% rise in third-quarter profit last week on strong sales in its cables and wires business.

Havells declared an interim dividend of 3 rupees per share. Its shares closed down 4.5% ahead of the results.

($1 = 83.1030 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)