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as on 23-May-2020  18:11

Avenue Supermarts Q4 PAT jumps 42% to Rs 271 cr
Consolidated EBITDA rose 12.1% to Rs 417 crore in Q4 FY20 from Rs 372 crore in Q4 FY19. EBITDA margin stood at 6.7% in Q4 March 2020, lower than 7.4% in Q4 March 2019.

Net profit jumped 44.16% to Rs 1,301.08 crore on 24.32% rise in net sales to Rs 24,870.20 crore in the year ended March 2020 (FY20) over the year ended March 2019 (FY19). EBITDA in FY20 stood at Rs 2,128 crore, up 30.31% compared with Rs 1,633 crore during FY19. EBITDA margin improved from 8.2% in FY19 to 8.6% in FY20.

The company said its overall revenue during the month of March 2020 grew by just 11% over March 2019 due to the lockdown effect of the last 9 days of March this year. The trend rapidly deteriorated in April during which more than half of its stores remaining closed for operations or operating for extremely restricted hours.

Our revenue for April was down by more than 45% as compared to April 2019. Our margins have also seen erosion as regulations did not permit us to sell any apparel and general merchandise products, the company said in the release.

Significantly large EBITDA declines are to be expected due to lower sales, lower gross margins, higher cost of operations on account of hardship allowance to front line staff during lockdown and higher personal hygiene/store sanitation costs, it added.

Post certain relaxations, the month of May has seen some improvement. The company was able to open and operate more stores as compared to April 2020. Those relaxations helped the first 14 days' revenue of May 2020 to increase by 17% over the first 14 days of April 2020. Supply chain has seen significant improvement as manufacturers also resumed operations and the transport of goods was allowed by all local authorities.

Initial trends indicate that non-essential sales are more need based and currently do not have a discretionary element to it. This indicates that discretionary sales may take good time to recover to pre-COVID times, the company said. Some of our stores which are functioning on a 24-hour basis for a very long time now have seen revenue trending closer to pre-Covid-19 levels despite not selling non-essentials and having restricted footfalls. We are not sure if this would replicate in all cities, nonetheless it is an encouraging sign in an otherwise uncertain near term outlook, it added.

The challenges are likely to continue in the current financial year as the economy gradually opens after the lockdown. Social distancing practices and changing consumer preferences are two key trends that we need to be watching carefully. Inventory write-offs due to shelf life aging and obsolescence doesn't seem to be a significant issue of worry yet, however it could become a meaningful problem if the lock down measures continue to be as stringent as before and for a further period exceeding 40-50 days from now. Our new store openings will be impacted as construction activity will commence with some lag due to availability of labour & material and the onset of monsoon from mid-June onwards in most parts of the country.

The full extent to which the pandemic will impact our future financial results will depend upon upcoming developments, which are highly uncertain including any new information concerning the severity of the pandemic and the action to mitigate its spread as advised by local authorities, it concluded.

Commenting on the performance of the company Neville Noronha, CEO & managing director, Avenue Supermarts, said: Overall, FY 2020 saw a healthy 24% revenue growth while PAT margins were in line with expectations. Our (Like for Like) LFL growth for FY2020 was 10.9%. Two reasons for this. One is that stores that are more than 5 years old grew at a rate lower than the previous year and most of the stores that are younger are peaking faster, even before they qualify for the 24 months LFL measurement. We opened a record 38 new stores, 6-8 of those stores should have actually opened last year. We also completed a successful equity fund raise to make our balance sheet stronger, resilient and also help augment our future growth.

Avenue Supermarts owns and operates D-Mart stores, which is a national supermarket chain. The company offers a wide range of products with a focus on foods, non-foods (FMCG) and general merchandise & apparel product categories.

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