‘That’s how we’ll get growth’: Success of beauty premiumisation key to success – Hindustan Unilever CEO
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is a fast-moving consumer goods firm from India that owns major beauty and personal care brands such as Ponds, Dove, and Lakme.
The company has been working to premiumise its portfolio with new innovations and entry into emerging areas. This has resulted in strong results for the company.
In the quarter ending March, HUL’s beauty and personal care division grew by 10%. The firm said there was growth across the business, highlighting that skin care grew double digits led by premium brands.
Overall, during the 2023 fiscal year, the “powerhouse” division recorded 12% revenue growth, exceeding INR21,000Cr (USD256.7m), said Sanjiv Mehta, CEO and managing director.
“When I look at the quarter that has ended, [beauty and personal care] has again delivered very broad-based growth and it has delivered a double-digit growth and it has delivered a double-digit growth with handsome mid-single digit volume growth,” he said during the firm’s latest earnings conference held on April 27.
Mehta, who due to step down as the company’s chief added: “That really gives me very clearly, comfort that this business is on the right trajectory.”
He went on to highlight the importance of continuing to reinforce its premium beauty portfolio.
“The more important bit is that our premium portfolio is growing ahead of the market and is growing ahead of the rest of our portfolio… Premiumising our portfolio will continue and that’s how we’ll get growth.”
Lux and Pond’s both exceeded INR2,000Cr (USD244.4n) in turnover, joining Dove, Lifebuoy and Glow & Lovely which have also crossed this important milestone.
Lux, in particular, led the skin cleansing category towards double-digit growth. This was driven by new launches such as its new bath and body range inspired by the Himalayan region.
“Last year, Lux was relaunched with unique regional mixes and since then, the brand has been delivering stellar results. Our skin care brand Pond’s has been leading the premiumisation agenda with on trend innovations and future formats,” said Mehta.
The company has also launched three new brands over the past year – Acne Squad, Find Your Happy Place, and Novology – as part of its premiumisation strategy.
The latter, a derma beauty brand, is the firm’s latest addition. According to the firm, it aims to develop products that could provide solutions for skin issues such as dry skin, acne, and pigmentation.
Another notable innovation the company highlighted was Dove’s new hair care range, which was specifically developed to meet the needs of curly Indian hair.
“We continue to make excellent progress in our portfolio transformation journey, especially in hair and beauty categories, with launch of several premium and on trend innovation and entry into high growth demand spaces,” said Rohit Jawa, the company’s incoming CEO and managing director.
Overall, HUL reported turnover of INR58,153Cr (USD710.7m), a year-on-year growth of 16%.