Pantaloon Retail sales rise 17%

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 27 2013, 17:13pm hrs
Better performance at its lifestyle business during the festival season, helped Kishore Biyanis Pantaloon Retail India (PRIL) post good same-store sales growth, the highest in the last eight quarters, signalling that the slump in discretionary spending may be over.

The companys sales grew 17% to R1,252.8 crore during the quarter, from a year ago. Same-store sales or sales growth at stores that have been open for at least a year, grew 12.7% for the companys lifestyle business. However, its value retail business sales grew at 5.1%, while home retail business same store sales fell 3.4%.

The December quarter has been particularly good for most retailers as most of the festive period fell in this quarter, after muted sales for a year as consumer sentiment remained weak. Sales during the festive season improved significantly, indicating an improvement in consumer sentiments, the company said.

During the quarter ended December, peers like Titan Industries and Shoppers Stop too recorded higher same store sales growth, after quarters of slow sales.

UBS Investment Researchs Sunita Sachdev said a number of catalysts like PRILs restructuring, and improvement in discretionary spending, will bode well for the company, going forward. The brokerage has a buy rating on the companys stock.

However, the company posted a net loss for the first time at R20.41 crore for the quarter ended December, from a profit of R5.64 crore in the same quarter last year, due to provisioning of R15.5 crore for losses in a few recent investments. As on December 31, the companys total debt stood at R5,431 crore. The companys debt would fall by R2,820 crore, after the sale of the Pantaloons format to Aditya Birla Retail and the creation of Future Lifestyle Fashions (FLFL).