Spencer’s Retail, the retail chain of the diversified RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, is looking to become PBT (profit before tax)-positive in the first quarter of the next fiscal, group chairman Sanjiv Goenka said on Thursday. Talking to reporters after announcing the third quarter results of the group’s flagship company CESC, Goenka said, “Spencer’s became PBDT (profit before depreciation and tax)-positive in the December quarter. Hopefully, it should be PBT-positive from April-June quarter (Q1FY19) onwards.” Goenka said the retail chain clocked Rs 570 crore of sales in the third quarter and average sales per square foot stood at Rs 1,607. He attributed higher sales to improved margins and lower costs. At the end of the previous fiscal, Spencer’s Retail (SRL) had 124 stores, including 39 hypermarkets, across India under the Spencer’s brand name. On Au Bon Pain, Goenka said, his group has already exited from the joint venture. The number of cafés that were in operation at the end of the last fiscal was 29, with presence in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Delhi, according to the latest annual reports of CESC.
On Thursday, CESC reported a 1.3% year-on-year rise in its standalone net profit to Rs 154 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, compared with Rs 152 crore in the year-ago period. Its revenue from operations stood at Rs 1,706 crore in the December quarter of FY18 against Rs 1,620 crore in the same period of FY17. On the proposed corporate restructuring of CESC, Goenka said, “The hearing at NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) is on. There will be final hearing later next month. Hopefully, it will get cleared.”