MUMBAI: Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), the Indian unit of Anglo-Dutch consumer group Unilever Plc, reported a quarterly profit that missed market expectations as customers continued to be thrifty on purchases of soaps, shampoos and other personal care products. Hindustan Unilever is Asia’s largest consumer goods maker by market capitalisation and sells products such as Lux soap, Lipton tea and Dove shampoos through thousands of mom-and-pop stores as well as big retailers across the country, making it a barometer of Indian consumer sentiment. Net sales from operations were INR 79.73 billion ($1.25 billion) for the quarter ended June 30, up from INR 75.71 billion last year.

SKorea GDP forecast

SEOUL: South Korea’s economic growth in the three months to June will be ‘much lower’ than previous quarter due to drought and an outbreak of MERS virus, Finance Minister Choi Kyung-Hwan said on Tuesday. Domestic demand had been gradually recovering this year, backed by government’s expansionary policies and efforts to bolster the real estate market, Choi told reporters. Earlier this month, South Korea’s central bank cut its 2015 economic growth forecast for the third time this year, lowering its forecast from 3.1 per cent growth to 2.8 per cent. Citing sluggish exports and weak domestic consumption — exacerbated by MERS outbreak — the bank has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 1.5 per cent.