The company said it eyed revenue growth as a percentage in the low-single digits and added that it expected consolidated revenue growth to trend upwards in the upcoming quarters.

Consumer goods makers have grappled with subdued sales in rural areas in recent quarters as people cut back spending on both essentials and discretionary items amid price pressures.

The update sent shares up 3%, with Marico becoming the top percentage gainer on the Nifty FMCG index.

Marico also forecast a low double-digit percentage growth in operating profit and strong expansion in gross margins on a year-on-year basis for the March quarter.

It said its Saffola brand of oils delivered mid-single-digit percentage volume growth, owing to softening trade-led headwinds coupled with stable input and consumer pricing, while its international business clocked double-digit percentage growth on a constant currency basis, led by its Bangladesh operations.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Marico reported a better-than-expected profit as declining raw material costs outweighed the drop in revenue.

Rival Dabur India said on Thursday it expected mid-single-digit percentage growth in revenue in the March quarter, adding that demand trends remained sluggish in the period.

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)