Marico's fourth quarter revenue decreases 7% to Rs 1,469 crore after block

MUMBAI: Parachute hair oil maker Marico reported a 7% decrease in revenue to Rs. Rs 1,469 million in the fourth quarter ending March 31, 2020, compared to Rs 1,609 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. This was primarily due to disruptions in the supply chain caused by the Covid related crash. After-tax earnings halved to Rs.199 after a tax reversal in the base quarter.

While the company's business in India recorded a 3% year-on-year decrease in volume, the international business decreased by 6%.

Marico said the company witnessed some encouraging signs of demand in its core portfolios through early March, which declined dramatically amid the Covid-19 outbreak as economic activity progressively slowed and adherence to the rules of Social distancing became an imperative.

The Indian business recorded a 3% decrease in volume, greatly affected by the interruptions in the last fortnight of March, due to blockades initially applied in some states and eventually throughout the country, to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 in India. In the last week of March, the company was able to record sales primarily in the Saffola oil and food portfolio. But because of this disruption, the Indian business would have generated low to medium single-digit volume growth during the quarter.

Saugata Gupta, MD and CEO, Marico, said: “The unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdown has caused serious difficulties for various sectors of our society. Marico is committed to working with all stakeholders to make a difference in the lives of those affected. Right now, we are focusing on the movement of everyday food and groceries for our consumers, subject to all safety regulations. While persistent soft consumption trends have led to moderate volume growth in FY20, we have continued to gain market share in our core franchises thanks to our trusted trusted brands.

We will continue to invest behind our core portfolios, as we adapt to the changes in consumer behavior that this unprecedented human crisis can bring about. We believe that consumer awareness towards health, hygiene and nutrition could be at a turning point, which could be an opportunity for Marico, since he has a portfolio of brands with presence in some of these categories. We will continue to innovate with existing and new brands to meet these emerging consumer needs, while aggressively focusing on cost management and conserving cash to navigate these challenging times, he added.