BENGALURU/CHENNAI (Reuters) - Most Indian consumer goods makers are unlikely to see a recovery in volumes in the fourth quarter, analysts said on Monday, indicating that any improvement can only be expected by the December-quarter.

Firms such as Godrej Consumer Products, which owns the Cinthol soap brand, and toothpaste-to-honey maker Dabur India have already flagged subdued demand for January-March, prolonging a rural-led slowdown that started two years ago.

"Consumer companies may be stuck in a limbo," said Preeyam Tolia, a senior research analyst at Axis Securities, adding that volume growth could pick up pace after the onset of the monsoon, which typically boosts rural consumer confidence.

Analysts expect volume growth in the low- to mid-single digit percentage range for the fourth quarter, roughly the same as the last six quarters.

While consumer goods firms all through last year maintained that a rebound in rural demand was on the horizon, recovery has remained elusive due to persistently high inflation and erratic weather.

Unseasonal rains affected the sale of beverages during the quarter, analysts said, while a delayed winter hit demand for season-specific goods including mosquito repellents and skincare products.

Company RIC Average growth in Revenue Revenue

previous three quarters growth growth

per LSEG estimate for estimate for

March quarter FY2025 per


Hindustan Unilever 3% -0.6% 7.9%

ITC 2.2% -6% 9.7%

Nestle India 11.1% 6.9% 6.1%

Britannia Industries 3.7% 1.9% 8.2%

Dabur India 8.4% 1.5% 10.2%

Marico -2% 2.1% 10%

Godrej Consumer -8.3% 4.9% 10%


8.4% 9.7% 8.1%

Colgate-Palmolive India

Tata Consumer Products 11% 10.3% 15.3%

Further, large listed consumer goods firms are also facing increasing competition, with smaller manufacturers now better equipped to compete for shelf space due to declining commodity prices.

Lower raw material prices, including wheat and sugar, could, however, aid in margin expansion across the board, analysts said. But, this may not entirely reflect in the bottomline due to price cuts and advertisement slots that have become pricier due to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament and national elections, they added.

They tip gross margins for heavyweights such as ITC and Britannia Industries to shrink or only expand moderately.

Still, analysts expect pockets of strength in the March quarter, with price increases driving growth at Colgate-Palmolive India and new product launches benefiting Tata Consumer Products, which kicks off consumer earnings on Tuesday.

Hindustan Unilever and Nestle India also report later this week, while other consumer goods firms are set to report their earnings until May 23.

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto in Bengaluru and Praveen Paramasivam in Chennai; Editing by Sonia Cheema)

By Ashna Teresa Britto and Praveen Paramasivam