The Burman Group has increased its stake in Eveready Industries to 20.68% through acquisition of shares from the open market as the group on Monday bought over 15 million equity shares of the dry cell battery maker, which reported narrowing of its consolidated net loss by around 91% year-on-year at Rs 38.41 crore in the fourth quarter last fiscal.
The company, currently flagship of financially stressed Williamson Magor group, had posted a net loss of Rs 442.53 crore in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2020-21. Its revenue from operations decreased 11.52% y-o-y to Rs 241.23 crore during the fourth quarter of FY22 from Rs 272.63 crore for the corresponding quarter of FY21, according to a stock exchange filing. Its operating Ebitda stood at negative Rs 35.61 crore against Rs 40.99 crore for the year-ago period.
The company, in a statement, said the March quarter last fiscal continued to experience lower demand in all categories as inflation ruled high. Also, very significant input cost increases due to supply chain disruptions and overall inflationary pressures impacted margins severely. Price increases was taken to offset this resulted in market resistance. The flashlights category continued to suffer on account of dumped imports from China.
“The quarter and the year were also impacted due to one-time provisioning done as a measure of prudence, for certain disputed receivables & inventories, and on account of restructuring costs, for a total amount of `27 crore and additional communication and consultation costs of Rs 18 crore as against the comparable quarter last year,” the statement said.
Several measures, including de-bottlenecking legacy inefficiencies in the organization structure, onboarding of Bain & Company for advice on improving operational efficiencies & strategy and triggering actions to overcome disruptions in supply chain, were initiated to make a quick recovery for the company. The company said with these efforts, it is expected to return to a higher level of profitability in the current financial year.
Notably, the board of directors of Eveready Industries in March this year appointed Suvamoy Saha as the managing director of the battery maker for three years. The board on March 3 requested Saha, the joint managing director, to assume the responsibility of managing director following resignation of Amritanshu Khaitan. The company’s non-executive chairman Aditya Khaitan and managing director Amritanshu Khaitan resigned following a recent open offer from the Burmans of Dabur.