BENGALURU/CHENNAI (Reuters) – Nestle India (NEST.NS) on Thursday reported quarterly earnings above estimates on higher demand for its chocolates and Maggi instant noodles and also said its board approved a stock split.
Profit increased to 9.08 billion rupees ($109.06 million) for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from 6.61 billion rupees a year earlier, the Indian arm of Swiss chocolatier Nestle SA (NESN.S) said in an exchange filing.
Analysts, on average, were expecting 8.14 billion rupees, according to LSEG data.
Indian consumers especially in urban pockets have not shied away from spending on affordable pick-me-ups like chocolates and biscuits even as prices of essentials, including vegetables and dairy, shot up.
Nestle India’s revenue from operations rose nearly 10% to 50.37 billion rupees, driven by demand for its Maggi noodles, Nescafe coffee and KitKat chocolates.
“Domestic sales grew double digit on account of mix, volume and price,” Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said in a statement.
The board also approved a split of each equity share into 10 shares to make them more affordable to retail investors. It also declared a second interim dividend for 2023 of 140 rupees per equity share.
The company said uneven rain would impact the production of key ingredients, including maize, sugar and spices, resulting in prices shooting up.
The chocolate maker’s peers Dove soap maker Hindustan Unilever (HLL.NS) and ITC (ITC.NS) are expected to report results later in the day.
Nestle India’s shares edged up 1% at 11:05 IST, taking their gains to nearly 20% this year compared with an 18% rise in the NIFTY FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) index (.NIFTYFMCG).
Switzerland-listed Nestle, meanwhile, posted lower-than-expected nine-month sales growth on Thursday as higher product prices made shoppers balk and hurt volumes.
With inputs from agencies