Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hindustan Unilever struggles

ET has an article today on how HUL is struggling in all its business lines, whether it is soap or toothpaste. In its previous conf call, HUL clearly mentioned that without market share, profitability is impossible in the long run. Colgate is reporting blockbuster results by having sales growth while at the same time cutting ad expenses. Ad expenses are down as ad rates have taken a big hit in the last year - both because of excess media inventory as well as reduced ad expenses by other industries which are struggling (financial services etc).

HUL doesn't seem to be suceeding so far in whatever they are doing to stem their share loss. Is a more aggressive HUL here? They can either cut prices or increase ad and promotion expenses aggressively, or both. Or they might not do anything despite what they say - which would be good news for Godrej Consumer and Colgate.

Zee reported results two days back. Their subscription revenues are now more than ad revenues - that is something I didn't realize would happen so soon. Ad revs are down massively yoy, and that is probably the case for a lot of media companies right now in India. Can there be a sudden ad upsurge in India?

What is a good media play in India? Problem with Zee is that it is not what it seems - it will be investing in DishTV and WWIL whenever they run into problems.

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