Hindustan Unilever says early sales in Jul-Sep quarter affected by ‘GST myths’

Hindustan Unilever, the country’s largest consumer company that owns daily brands such as Rin, Wheel, Kissan and Surf, said the roll-out of the goods and services tax caused some confusion among retailers and distributors.

“Early part of SQ’17 (July-September 2017) was affected by various myths in trade,” the company said at Arisaig Consumer Symposium today.

It said the trade situation was improving gradually. “Wholesale channel (is) now stabilizing,” it added.

The comments indicate that the company may have seen some impact of the GST roll-out on its offtake and sales on its sales during the quarter.

The Goods and Services Tax regime came into effect on July 1, replacing a host of other taxes such as Value Added Tax and local levies.

However, due to its more complicated structure, retailers and distributors were wary of conducting their business as before, and some are reported to have gone slow on stock replenishment.

Unilever, which has a revenue of almost 35,000 cr, said its own internal systems migrated flawlessly to the new tax system.

Invoicing and payments have been working flawlessly from Day 1 itself, it said.

GST brought uniformity in computing taxes for goods and service and eliminated multiple excise, CST, VAT, service tax calculations.