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Retail Newsletter - 06 May to 09 May, 2013

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Unilever plc’s announcement to increase stake in its Indian subsidiary to 75% implies that the wheel has turned a cycle and we are back to the starting point. In the 70s, under the government pressure, most MNCs, who wanted to continue operations in India, had to offer shares to public and get listed.

Top News

M&S under scrutiny for FDI violations on single-brand: Reports

Marks & Spencer reportedly under the government's scanner for a possible violation of the FDI policy on single-brand retail that bars investors from selling multiple brands in a single store.

According to reports, the finance ministry has raised the matter with the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), and sought to know if M&S' practice of selling sub-brands was in conformity with the FDI policy.

The £9.9bn multinational offers most of its sub-brands, such as Limited Collection, Autograph, Collezione, North Coast, Blue Harbour, Savile Row Inspired, Indigo Collection and per una, apart from its flagship M&S brand, in its stores in across the country, reports stated.

A DIPP official confirmed receiving the query from the finance ministry and said the policy on singlebrand retail was clear. The policy says all foreign brands should be registered and branded during manufacture. If this (selling subbrands) is the case, then it amounts to multi-brand retail. Hence, we are not in favour of single-brand retailers selling sub-brands.

Wal-Mart replaces ExxonMobil as biggest rev maker: Fortune

Wal-Mart replaced ExxonMobil as the biggest revenue maker on the annual list, Fortune magazine reportedly said.

According to reports, Apple cracked into the top 10 companies for the first time.

The combined earnings of the Fortune 500 came in at $820bn in 2012. Wal-Mart reclaimed top spot on the list from energy titan ExxonMobil after posting $469.2bn in revenues, or $19.3bn more than Exxon, media report said. Exxon and Wal-Mart traded the top two positions repeatedly in recent years.

Infocus Stories

MNCs coming but retail investors going?

Unilever plc’s announcement to increase stake in its Indian subsidiary to 75% implies that the wheel has turned a cycle and we are back to the starting point. In the 70s, under the government pressure, most MNCs, who wanted to continue operations in India, had to offer shares to public and get listed. Some MNCs, notable ones being Coca Cola and IBM exited and came back only in the 90s after liberalization. Looking back, the managements of MNCs who decided to stay back must be lauded for their vision as they saw what none saw at that time – India’s huge consumption potential.

According to many old time brokers, the MNC listing is what started the retail equity cult though some attribute it to Maker 4. Castrol, HLL, Brooke Bond, Ponds, Nestle and Glaxo are among those which made retail investors gain lakhs of rupees. Even now, I meet a certain class of investors, typically Gujjus staying in South Mumbai, who only invest in MNCs. Read more...

Value more imp than service for Indian consumers: Study

Epsilon, the global leader in delivering direct-to-consumer connections that drive business performance, announced the India results of the 2013 Consumer Loyalty Study in the report, India: No Single Solution; Multiple Opportunities. The study finds that the perceived value of a purchase outranks service when it comes to driving loyalty among Indian consumers. This contrasts sharply with findings in China and Australia, whose consumers saw after sales services and preferential customer service far more influential than Indian consumers. While service is welcomed by Indian consumers, and indeed can help foster loyalty, it is clearly subordinate to the pursuit of the best value and quality in the marketplace.
“To a certain extent, poor service will be tolerated if the price is right, yet an issue like incorrect billing is much more likely than higher prices to irritate value-savvy consumers and cause them to switch from their usual shops,” comments Janet Low, Client Services Director, Asia, Epsilon. “Value-conscious as they might be, according to the survey, a healthy majority of Indian consumers across all socio-economic classes and age categories strongly agrees that it pays to be loyal to their favourite brands.” Read more…

Domestic News

Jubilant FoodWorks net profit at Rs327mn

Jubilant FoodWorks, India’s largest and fastest growing food service company, reported its financial results for the quarter and year ended 31 March, 2013.
Commenting on the performance for Q4 & FY13, Shyam S Bhartia, Chairman and Hari S. Bhartia, Co-Chairman, Jubilant FoodWorks said, “We are pleased to share with you JFL’s FY13 annual results. Our business strategy, which is designed to drive JFL’s competitive advantage, profitability and returns on invested capital through a unique combination of operational efficiency and expansion, bodes well for us as we grow our business base. We ended the fiscal on a positive note, in a scenario which was impacted by contracting economic activity at a macro level and restrained consumer spending.

We witnessed a healthy increase in our topline and overall profitability led by benefits of our targeted growth initiatives and product innovation. Network expansion continued on a sustained basis for Domino’s Pizza as well as Dunkin’ Donuts. We continued to invest in our business to support the future growth with infrastructure like our 5thcommissary (in Mohali-Chandigarh). We believe in our future and think this is the most opportune time to drive investment. We are assured of the long term prospects and hence kept our focus on delivering for customers.

Tanishq plans to invest Rs. 10bn for expansion

Tanishq reportedly plans to invest more than Rs. 10bn to expand its network across the country this fiscal. The company will add 29 outlets during this period to its existing 146 stores.

V Ganesh, Associate Vice-President, Titan Industries Ltd was quoted as saying that Tanishq earmarked 20 per cent of the total investment in the region. We will invest about Rs. 2bn in east, including the north-eastern market.

The company claims to control about 80 per cent of the organised jewellery market, reports added.

Future Retail Q1 net profit at Rs. 24.70mn

Future Retail Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs. 24.70mn for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 as compared to Rs. 54.30mn for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

Total Income has decreased from Rs. 11426.80mn for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 to Rs. 9428.10mn for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Pizza Hut Delivery launches new campaign

Pizza Hut Delivery (PHD), the delivery brand of Pizza Hut, has launched their latest national ad campaign. The TVC will focus on the new Magic Pan Pizza introduced by PHD at an unbelievable price point of just Rs. 44. A brand known for serving restaurant quality food, piping hot at your doorstep – PHD will bring families closer as friends with the new snack. The new ad campaign went on-air nationwide on May XX, 2013.
Magic Pan Range is available in single and boxes of four starting at an unbelievable price of just Rs. 44. The delicious range is made with fresh, crunchy toppings, 100% mozzarella cheese and a new flavorful sauce that give the pizzas its magical taste all on a delicious pan base. With this combination we are sure that we will leave the opposition party drooling as well. This enchanting new range is also available in the Everyday Special meal which includes- Magic Pan Pizzas, 2 pieces of Garlic bread and Pepsi for just Rs. 99 (available in select stores). Read more...

International News

Moody's assigns first-time Baa3 to Golden Eagle

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a first-time Baa3 issuer rating to Golden Eagle Retail Group Limited, and a Baa3 senior unsecured debt rating to its proposed bonds. The ratings outlook is stable.

The company plans to use the proceeds from the proposed issuance to refinance its existing debt and fund new projects.


"Golden Eagle's Baa3 ratings reflect its strong market position and established operating track record in affluent Jiangsu Province, where the consumer market is sizeable within China," says Kaven Tsang, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

The success is partly driven by its strategy to operate in affluent regions. Jiangsu's GDP ranked as the second largest in China in 2012 -- after Guangdong Province -- accounting for about 10.4% of the national total. Jiangsu was also the third largest consumer market, after Guangdong and Shandong provinces. Its retail sales of consumer goods reached 1, 821.5bn yuan. Read more…

Green Trends unveils Premium Bridal Album

CK Ranganathan, CMD of CavinKare launched Green Trends’ Premium Bridal Album at an elite fashion fiesta held in the city. Green Trends, a brand from Trends In Vogue - the hair and beauty salon service business division of CavinKare Group is all set to give the bride and the groom a memorable grooming experience to cherish forever.

A wedding day is a special occasion in one’s life and everyone wants to look ‘the best’ without doubt. Green Trends promises the to be bride or groom  just the same by offering quality bridal services to choose from for both the wedding and reception guarantying to make them look their best on their most special day. The gala event showcased the different wedding styles of the album with top models setting the ramp on fire in both Indian and Western outfits decked with glamorous makeup and hairdos. Read more…

Moody's assigns Baa3 to Bright Food's proposed USD notes

Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Baa3 rating to the USD notes proposed by Bright Food Hong Kong. The notes will be irrevocably and unconditionally guaranteed by Bright Food (Group) Co., Ltd. (Bright Food).

At the same time, Moody's has affirmed the Baa3 issuer ratings of Bright Food. The outlook for the ratings is stable. The proceeds from the notes will be used for debt refinancing.

"Bright Food will use the proposed notes of relatively long maturity to refinance the short-term bridging loan financing its acquisition of Weetabix, and this issuance will improve its debt maturity profile, and hence stabilize its funding profile," says Alan Gao, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

"The proposed notes will also reduce funding costs through lower interest rates, relative to the cost of domestic borrowings," adds Gao, who is also the lead analyst for Bright Food.

"Furthermore, Moody's notes that Bright Food's 2012 financial results and financial plan continue to support its Baa3 ratings," says Gao. Read more...

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