Diageo-controlled liquor maker United Spirits Ltd (USL) on Friday reported a 12.14 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 178.6 crore for the fourth quarter ended March as margins were impacted by rising inflation.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs 203.3 crore in the year-ago period, according to a regulatory filing.
However, its revenue from operations was up 1.16 per cent at Rs 7,767.3 crore during the quarter under review. In the same period a year ago, it stood at Rs 7,678.1 crore.
"Gross margin was 41.7 per cent, down 220 bps (basis points), impacted by rising inflation partly offset by favourable product mix and productivity savings," USL said in an earning statement.
Total expenses were at Rs 7,429.4 crore in the latest March quarter compared to Rs 7,392.2 crore in the same period a year ago.
USL's CEO Hina Nagarajan said the company has delivered another quarter of consistent top-line and resilient EBITDA performance.
"The broad-based growth in the Prestige and Above segment demonstrates resilient consumer demand, the strength of our portfolio and focused execution of the strategy by the team. Strong cash flow generation is enabling reinvestment in sustainable long-term growth," she said.
For the fiscal ended March, USL's net profit increased to Rs 810.6 crore. It had reported a net profit of Rs 362.1 crore in the previous financial year.
Its revenue from operations was at Rs 3,106.18 crore in 2021-22. This is 13.28 per cent higher than Rs 2,741.85 crore in the year-ago period.
"Growth was underpinned by strong consumer demand in the off-trade, premiumisation, recovery in on-trade and lapping soft comparators," it said.
USL also said that it has completed the 'strategic review' of its select popular liquor brands. The company had earlier targeted to finish it in the calendar year 2021 and was extended several times.
"We have just concluded the strategic review of the select popular brands and the board has approved the sale and franchising of this portfolio to an unrelated third party. This is a significant move to enable sharpened focus on 'Prestige and Above' and reshape our portfolio to help deliver our growth mission," Nagarajan said.
USL's popular portfolio comprises around 30 entry-level lower-priced liquor brands, with an average price less than Rs 400 for a 750 ml bottle, and straddle whisky, rum, brandy, vodka and gin.
Shares of United Spirits on Friday settled at Rs 778.65 on BSE, up 2.43 per cent from the previous close.