Fashion and lifestyle does it for Reliance Retail, sales surpass pre-Covid levels

NEW DELHI: Reliance Retail’s net profit jumped 88% year-on-year to Rs 1,830 crore for the third quarter of the current fiscal year.

Revenues, however, were down 8% year-on-year to Rs 37,845 crore, mainly dragged down by the transfer of its petroleum retailing business to a separate Reliance-British Petroleum joint venture coupled with lower sales at its supermarkets amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reliance said its record quarterly profits were led by a strong rebound in the fashion and lifestyle business that the company said has surpassed the pre-pandemic levels during the quarter and the segment has doubled its earnings in those months.

“The star performer of the quarter has been the fashion and lifestyle. It has led the way and it has surpassed pre-Covid level,” said Dinesh Thapar, group CFO of Reliance Retail. He added that higher conversion rate and larger ticket sizes at the fashion stores generated better profits even as footfalls dipped in the pandemic.

Reliance said almost 96% of its brick-and-mortar stores were operational in this quarter compared to 85% functional outlets in the July-September quarter.

Reliance’s fashion online portal Ajio’s business jumped five times and e-commerce orders for all the Reliance Retail units collectively recorded 12 times increase compared to the same quarter last year.

In the quarter, Reliance Retail Ventures, the holding company of Reliance Retail completed raising of Rs 47,265 crore by selling a 10.9% stake to a clutch of global private equity firms and that mega investments have also helped Reliance Retail’s profits.

“We received a boost from higher investment income. So after the fundraise there is clearly capital which is surplus and we will look to invest as we go forward,” Thapar said. “We have received a boost from the income we have earned on those investments.”

Reliance Retail opened more than 300 outlets in the quarter taking the total number of store-count to more than 12,000.

Reliance said its retail units income for the nine months of the current fiscal year was Rs 1.1 lakh crore.

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