Record profit for Aditya Birla Fashion, despite sluggish fourth quarter 

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Indian fashion conglomerate Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) has reported a record full-year EBITDA of US$195.15 million despite high expenses damaging its fourth quarter.

Full-year revenue reached $1.498 billion – a 53 per cent improvement over last year, and up 41 per cent over pre-Covid levels. However fourth-quarter revenue was up by a lesser rate of 26 per cent and the company posted a rare loss for the period of $22.9 million, citing losses on its developing TMRW and ethnic brands and “negative operating leverage on the back of sluggish sales”.

During the quarter, the retailer generated $347.6 million. 

Online sales for the quarter jumped 77 per cent year-on-year, taking e-commerce revenue across the full year to more than $156.9 million. 

“With a long-term rise in discretionary consumption, the apparel industry is primed for significant growth bolstered by premiumisation and an accelerated shift from unbranded to branded products,” the company said in a statement. 

ABFRL recently acquired a 51 per cent stake in TCNS Clothing, which owns ethnic brands W, Aurelia, Wishful, Folksong, and Elleven, for US$202 million. The deal marked one of the country’s largest acquisitions in the Indian fashion industry. 

As of March 31, ABFRL has a network of 3977 stores across approximately 33,535 multi-brand outlets with 6723 points of sales in department stores across India. It opened a net 104 stores during the March quarter.

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