HUL says increasing crude prices and weak rupee will impact input cost; firm to go for ‘judicious pricing’.

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FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) on Monday said increasing crude prices and a weak rupee will impact the input cost and the firm may go for a “judicious pricing” without loosing its competitiveness.Rising crude prices have a higher impact on the home care category of the company, which consists of laundry and other cleaning products, said HUL Chief Financial Officer Srinivas Phatak in post earning calls.

In the first place, we have not seen inflation across all categories. Having said that with crude moving up, with currency under pressure, we expect to see a bit more impact forward,” he said.

However, Phatak further added: “As the pricing is concerned, there are multiple levers at play. We get a benefit of mix, get benefit of savings, after all where required we would take judicious pricing, which is measured without loosing our competitiveness”.

On being asked whether the GST related taxation issues with the government over, Phatak said that there are few elements which are still under discussions.”In one case, we got the working capital which we want to unlock. There are fiscal refunds, export refunds which we need to get from the authority. We have filed all the returns and are waiting to get the refunds.

“From the anti-profiteering point of view, we have offered Rs 160 crore to the government. Rs 124 crore on account of HUL and about Rs 36 crore on account of distributors. The government has accepted the money and we continue to be in discussion with them on some of the other issues,” he said

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