“The reported revenue decline of 3.6% in the third quarter reflects improving consumer sentiment over previous quarters, notwithstanding on-premise footfalls still being low, the route to market change in Andhra Pradesh and taxation led price hikes post Covid-19. Operational resilience, contextual marketing with focus on in-home occasions and renovation of our core brands supported the top-line recovery,” said Anand Kripalu, CEO of USL.
Net sales in its Prestige and Above segment – which has mid-segment and premium brands such as McDowell’s No 1, Royal Challenge, Johnnie Walker and Vat 69 – declined 0.8% partially as a result of lapping a high festive season comparative, the company said.
Net sales in the Popular segment – which has mass-market brands such as Haywards, Bagpiper and White Mischief – declined 6.7% overall led by a decline of 5.7% in priority states due to increased consumer prices impacting the demand in this price-conscious segment coupled with unfavourable state mix.
“Despite a quicker rebound than originally expected, in the near term, there are still reasons to remain cautious and consequently, the company is not providing quantitative guidance for fiscal 2021,” added Kripalu.