Dabur India flags sluggish demand in March-quarter; shares drop

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Consumer goods maker Dabur India flagged sluggish demand in the March quarter and indicated slowing revenue growth from prior quarters on Thursday, sending shares to a near six-month low.

Dabur said it expects mid-single digit percentage revenue growth in the quarter ended March 31, compared to a 7% rise in the December-quarter and 7.3% jump in the quarter before that.

Its shares fell 4.5% after the news, and were on track for their worst day since May 2023. The stock was also the top drag on the FMCG index, which slipped 0.2%.

Rural demand picked in the quarter, helped by lower prices of staples, narrowing the gap between rural and urban areas, the company said.

Dabur also forecast double-digit percentage growth in constant currency terms for its international business, led by the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Egypt, and Turkey. Overseas markets account for about a quarter of its revenue.

The firm added that growth in operating profit for the quarter is expected to slightly outpace revenue, resulting in an improved year-on-year operating margins.

Dabur, which is expected to report its fourth quarter earnings in May, is the first among Indian consumer goods companies to release its quarterly update.

Marico, Godrej Consumer Products, and Adani Wilmar are expected to report quarterly updates later this week.

Additionally, Dabur said its healthcare business is expected to show a smaller growth compared to home and personal care, as a delayed winter affected demand.

Dabur, which sells health supplements and cold & cough relief, did not mention which products’ sales were affected.

(Reporting by Navamya Ganesh Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)

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