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Godrej pips Nirma in soap stakes

05-December-2005
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Godrej pips Nirma in soap stakes

The Rs 4,900 crore toilet soap market has seen a realignment in market share with Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) taking a lead over Nirma.

According to AC Nielsen data, at the end of October GCPL had a value share of 9.6 per cent of the market compared with Nirma’s 8.2 per cent. In terms of volume Nirma, however, remains ahead of GCPL’s 11 per cent with a share of 12.1 per cent. GCPL’s brands include No 1, Cinthol and Fairglow.

Hindustan Lever (HLL) continues to be the market leader in terms of value by a long stretch with a share of just over 54.2 per cent. It has, however, lost market share with its Lifebuoy brand dropping to its lowest level in 12 months.

Hoshedar K Press, executive director and president, GCPL, said, “We had marginally overtaken Nirma in August and September, but now the lead is widening.”

According to Press, the toilet soap market has been growing at around 3-4 per cent annually, but with the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector showing signs of “bottoming out” the growth rate could be faster at around 5 per cent.

In the 12 months to October, total quantity of soap sold in the country was around 4.5 lakh tonne. Of the sales value of Rs 4,900 crore, Rs 3,000 crore was accounted for by urban areas.

The urban market has been growing at a faster pace of 7 per cent per annum compared with just 2 per cent in rural areas. The per capita consumption of soap in India is currently around 500 gm a year.

Meanwhile, according to AC Nielsen data, retail sales of FMCG were up at 5.8 per cent year-on-year in October, the highest in the past seven months.

Nearly 80 per cent of the categories tracked by the market research agency, recorded a growth in sales. Out of 42 large categories with annual sales of over Rs 200 crore, 16 saw double-digit growth while only nine saw a fall in sales indicating a strong growth momentum across the sector.

Among the top ten FMCG categories, shampoos and washing powders saw double-digit growth. While sales of packaged tea saw a fall, Tata Tea’s market share rose in October over third quarter of 2005, driven by its regional brand Gemini.

The biscuit category saw slower growth.

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