Dabur India beats Q4 profit view on steady domestic demand, lower costs

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Consumer goods maker Dabur India reported a bigger-than-expected 16.2% rise in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, boosted by steady domestic demand amid easing costs.

The toothpaste-to-honey maker's net profit rose to 3.50 billion rupees ($41.9 million) in January-March from 3.01 billion rupees a year earlier, edging past analysts' estimate of 3.44 billion rupees, according to LSEG data.

Indian consumer goods makers reported slowing volumes in the previous fiscal along with rising domestic competition, sluggish rural demand and high inflation.

Analysts, however, expect rural demand to pick up pace towards the end of 2024 as the monsoon typically boosts farm income.

Dabur's revenue rose 5.1% to 28.15 billion rupees, with the consumer care segment, which contributes 79% to the total, reporting a 6% rise during the quarter.

Cost of raw materials fell 16%, aiding the bottomline.

Dabur's shares rose as much as 5.6% after the results. They declined 6% in the March-quarter compared to a 5% fall in the Nifty fast-moving consumer goods index.

Peer Nestle India reported a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit on robust demand, whereas Hindustan Unilever posted a bigger-than-expected fall in profit but indicated signs of a much-anticipated sales recovery in rural areas.

($1 = 83.4475 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)