FMCG Q2 Earnings to Help Gauge Demand Direction

India’s top fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies are set to announce their September quarter earnings that will give a peek into which way consumption demand is headed in millions of Indian households after the blow from the coronavirus pandemic. Analysts expect rural growth to march ahead of urban growth. The easing of the lockdown and resumption of supplies to the market are expected to aid recovery of some personal care products and continue to benefit those that rely on in-home consumption. But the demand for more discretionary items could remain weak.

Packaged foods company Britannia Industries Ltd is set to announce its earnings this week followed by India’s top FMCG company Hindustan Unilever Ltd that acts as a bellwether for India’s household consumption. “Major trends in Q2FY21 include normalization of in-home food consumption and revival of skincare. Overall, we expect demand sentiments to continue to improve aiding the sector’s revenue growth in H2FY21,” said analysts at Edelweiss Securities Ltd in a report.

For Q2, the brokerage expects FMCG?firms it tracks to post year-on-year average volume growth of 1.3%, compared to a dip of 20.2% in the first quarter. It estimates revenue growth of 4.2% for the quarter, with year-on-year Ebitda growth of 3.8%in Q2FY21 compared to 15.5% and 26.6% year-on-year contraction in Q1FY21. Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, is a measure of profitability.

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