• Half year net losses of INR833.9m (US$13.5m) 
  • Net sales in six months to end of September slip 1.7% to INR41bn
  • H1 operating profits fall 31% to INR3.28bn
  • First-half volumes down 4.2% to 56.8m cases 
Despite a strong Q2 for United Spirits its H1, sales are down

Despite a strong Q2 for United Spirits its H1, sales are down

United Spirits, the Diageo-controlled Indian drinks firm, has remained in the red in its half-year despite a rise in second-quarter volumes and sales. 

The Bangalore-headquartered company yesterday reported that net losses in the six months to the end of September came in at INR833.9m (US$13.5m) against profits of INR2.1bn in the same period the prior year. Sales in this year's first-half slid 1.7% to INR41bn after volumes fell 4.2%. 

H1 operating profits dropped 31% to INR3.28bn. 

A strong second-quarter saw sales rise 8.1% to INR21.6bn, off the back of a 5.8% lift in volumes. Volumes of the group's “prestige and above” brands climbed 19%, with the segment now representing 31% of sales.  

“A continuing emphasis on driving value rather than volume has led the company to realign the route-to-market structure in some states,” it said. 

In its last full-year, the group had blamed losses on a significant writedown from the sale of its Scotch whisky unit, Whyte & Mackay

United Spirits yesterday noted the completion of the sale of W&M to Emperador Inc, adding that GBP370m from the sale proceeds will go towards repaying loans taken to finance the original acquisition. 

The Indian firm, which Diageo took majority control of in July, is due to hold an extraordinary general meeting on 29 November, over the fact it has lost 50% of its "peak net worth" over the past four years. The meeting is being held in accordance with India's Sick Industrial Companies Act. 

To read the company's full statment, click here