Hindustan Lever Ltd. (HLL) has increased prices of key brands in detergents, toothpaste and skincare. Prices have been increased by a margin of 5 per cent in line with raw material price hikes and inflation. Even as the price hike comes just before the Budget, the company asserted that the price increase decisions have no connection with the Budget at all.
The price of Surf has gone up to Rs 82 from Rs 78 on a 1 kg pack. The maximum retail price (MRP) of Pepsodent 2-in-1 toothpaste has gone up to Rs 38 from 32 on a 100 gm tube. That on Close-Up has increased to Rs 35 from 32. The price of its fairness cream, Fair & Lovely, has increased to Rs 27 from Rs 26, on a 25 gm tube.
The move comes close on the heels of a price increase undertaken by the multinational on shampoos, which was HLL's first price increase of the current calendar year. The price of Sunsilk shampoo, for instance, has gone up to Rs 105 from Rs 100.70. In the previous year, product prices were by and large held reflecting stable input prices of key commodities.
HLL is a market leader in the shampoo and fairness cream market. In detergents and toothpastes, however, the company does not command a leadership position. Soaps and detergents contributes 39 per cent to HLL's turnover of Rs 10,604 crore in 2000. Personal products, which comprises skincare and hair care products among others, contributes 17 per cent to the turnover.
While fabric wash recorded a growth of 7 per cent in the previous year with premium powders growing by 19 per cent, growth in personal care was led by the hair care category. In oral care, the company held its market share in the year 2000.