• Nine-month net losses of INR45.8m (US$0.74m)
  • YTD sales flat at INR63.5bn
  • Operating profits in nine months fall 38.8% to 5.4bn
  • Q3 net profits up 21% to INR788m
United Spirits remains in the red in its YTD

United Spirits remains in the red in its YTD

United Spirits remains in the red in its year to date, but losses have slowed after a healthy rise in Q3 profits, thanks to its premium brands.

The Mumbai-based firm, which is majority-owned by Diageo, said that net losses in the nine months to the end of December came in at INR45.8m (US$0.74m), compared to a profit of INR2.77bn in the corresponding period a year earlier. However, the performance marked an improvement on half-year net losses of INR833.9m.

In the nine-month period, sales were flat at INR63.5bn, while operating profits fell by 38.8% to INR5.4bn.

The  company saw an improved third quarter as net profits climbed 21% to INR788m off the back of a 2.3% lift in sales, to INR23.2bn. Volumes in the quarter slipped by 1.8% to 30.9m unit cases. 

However for the unit's “prestige and above” range, Q3 volumes climbed by 4.7%, while sales rose by 9%. The premium segment now represents 30% of United Spirits' volumes, it said. In a statement, the company added that it is “committed to keep pushing up the share of this share of the P&A (prestige and above) range” in its portfolio.

The Indian firm flagged that it had been hampered by the rising cost of extra neutral alcohol  - its primary raw material – due to “disputes” in key states involving sugarcane farmers.

Earlier this month, United Spirits' minority shareholders approved a move to allow the firm to produce and sell Diageo's brands in the country, after initially rejecting the plan.

To read the full results statement, click here.