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United Spirits profit climbs on premium liquor demand in third quarter

A greater number of affluent Indians are choosing more expensive cars and consuming pricier food and liquor, unaffected by inflation

USL is trading at 51-53x its FY24 earnings estimates

Revenue rose around 5% to 69.49 billion rupees. Revenue had fallen in each of the earlier four quarters

Reuters BENGALURU

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India's United Spirits, which makes Smirnoff vodka, reported a rise in third-quarter profit on Tuesday, buoyed by strong demand for its premium brands of alcohol.
A greater number of affluent Indians are choosing more expensive cars and consuming pricier food and liquor, unaffected by inflation.
This boosted the Diageo PLC-owned company's profit before exceptional items and taxes by 51% to 4.59 billion rupees ($55.22 million) in the quarter ending Dec. 31 from a year earlier.
Last year, the company had made a provision of 1.48 billion rupees as an exceptional item for costs related to a revamp of its supply chain.
Sales in United Spirits' premium segment, which includes brands such as Johnnie Walker, Signature and Antiquity and accounts for roughly 80% of its net sales, rose 4.6% in the quarter.
Meanwhile, inflation and increased competition curbed sales of the lesser-priced 'popular' segment, which includes McDowell's No. 1, Vat 69 and Royal Challenger brands. Sales in the segment fell nearly 23% in the quarter.
Revenue rose around 5% to 69.49 billion rupees. Revenue had fallen in each of the earlier four quarters.
The company benefited from softer input costs for glass, packing materials, and barley, reducing raw material costs by 7%.
However, expenses for extra neutral alcohol, a key ingredient, remain a millstone around liquor makers' necks, analysts have said.
Rival Radico Khaitan, which makes Magic Moments vodka, will report its third-quarter results next month.

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First Published: Jan 23 2024 | 6:19 PM IST

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