* Q3 profit 6.37 bln vs 6.49 bln year earlier
* Q3 profit consensus was 6.34 bln
* Shares down 4 pct
MUMBAI, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Hindustan Unilever (HLL.BO), a unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever Plc (ULVR.L) (UNc.AS), said third-quarter net profit slipped as mounting costs weighed on margins, sending the firm’s shares down 4 percent.
Hindustan Unilever said net profit in the fiscal third quarter fell to 6.37 billion rupees ($140.2 million) from 6.49 billion rupees a year ago.
Starmine’s Smart estimate, which places more weight on recent forecasts by top-rated analysts, had forecast a net profit of 6.34 billion rupees.
“Input cost inflation continued to rise during the quarter. Cost of goods sold went up by 220 bps, as a result of steep rise in material costs, especially in commodity sensitive categories,” the firm said in a statement to the exchange.
Hindustan Unilever, whose brands in India include Dove soap, Clinic shampoo and Closeup toothpaste, competes with the likes of Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care (PROC.BO) and Colgate Palmolive (India) (COLG.BO) in India.
India’s largest households products and consumer goods maker said revenue grew 12 percent to 50.3 billion rupees, driven by robust volume growth. Analysts had expected 50.2 billion rupees, according to Starmine data.
Shares of the firm were down 4.2 percent at 285.40 rupees in afternoon trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Jui Chakravorty