Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd reported a surprise fall in third-quarter profit on Tuesday, as inflation-hit consumers tightened spending, while higher costs weighed.
The Indian arm of the U.S. consumer goods major's net profit slipped nearly 4% to 2.43 billion rupees ($29.82 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
Analysts, on average, had expected profit to rise to 2.66 billion rupees, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
The toothpaste maker's total expenses climbed 3% to 9.75 billion rupees.
Packaged goods makers have globally raised prices of products from toothpaste to coffee as the Russia-Ukraine war and supply snarls led to an increase in the price of commodities, including palm oil, cocoa and crude oil.
The price hikes forced lower-income consumers and the rural population to tighten their budgets as they struggled to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.
"Oral care consumption continued to be weighed down in the quarter by adverse macro factors," Colgate-Palmolive India Managing Director Prabha Narasimhan said in a statement.
Revenue from operations increased nearly 1% to 12.81 billion rupees, with many analysts attributing it to price increases. The company's shares, which had climbed nearly 4% last year, fell as much as 2% to 1,460.25 rupees after the results were announced. ($1 = 81.4975 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Varun Vyas in Bengaluru and Praveen Paramasivam in Chennai; Editing by Sohini Goswami)