trent ltd share price Management discussions


General economic backdrop and industry outlook

India is now the world?s 5th largest economy. It is also one of the fastest growing major economies and is expected to be one of the top three economic powers in the world over the next 10 to 15 years, backed by its robust democracy and strong demographics.

The economy has recovered from the impact of the pandemic, staging a near-full recovery in 2022, ahead of many economies and positioning itself firmly on the pre-pandemic growth path. Notwithstanding the challenges posed by the global economy and elevated inflation levels, the economy is estimated to have grown over 6.5% in FY23, largely led by the resilience of private consumption.

India has the largest youth population in the world; with around 66% of this total population below the age of 35. Household income levels are steadily rising and women are slowly being integrated into the formal workforce giving them greater control over personal and household financial decision making.

Retail sector

By 2035 over 43% of the country?s population is expected to live in urban areas. This consistent trend towards urbanization indicates a shifting of preferences away from rural life to the accessibility and convenience of cities. Increasing affordability, coinciding with higher urbanization levels is expected to fundamentally alter the consumption basket over the coming decade. This shift is expected to positively impact the consumption of lifestyle and fashion products.

Year 2022 marked a turnaround for the Indian retail industry with every segment of retail recording strong growth rates It is estimated to reach $ 2 trillion by 2032, driven by sociodemographic and economic factors such as urbanisation, income growth, rise in nuclear families and a shift from the unorganised to the organised segment.

The sector is also emerging as one of the largest sectors in the economy contributing to over 10% of GDP and 8%1 to employment. India?s high growth potential compared to global peers has made it a highly favorable investment destination.

Fashion and lifestyle market

India?s apparel market is estimated at $ 692 billion in 2023 and the Indian fashion industry is estimated to be the fourth largest market in the world. In recent years, private brands have increasingly emerged as the rising stars of retail and e-commerce. Retailer owned brands, typically offer shoppers value for money while earning higher margins for retailers with potential to develop into selfsustaining propositions. There is also a growing emphasis on enriching customer experience. Window displays, instore ambience, coordinated product displays, lighting, music and communication to help build brand presence and awareness.

Food & grocery retail

India?s grocery retail market remains vastly unorganized and complex comprising an estimated 12 million retail outlets, and over a million wholesalers and distributors of large FMCG companies delivering goods of daily use to the end consumers.

The revenues of modern trade retailers, including that of select online-led players are growing. Nevertheless, given the overall growth rate of the underlying market, the share of traditional trade is expected to remain very substantial for the foreseeable future. Another trend that we see in this space is the growing consolidation of the national modern trade players. In fact, there are very few players with significant multi-state presence and material growth ambitions.

The Trent business model has increasingly evolved to deliver the right combination of quality, price and an elevated customer experience. The emphasis on own brands, nimble responsiveness to emerging consumer preferences coupled with relative price stability contributes to our distinctive market positioning in the lifestyle space.

The emphasis on own brands and strong product disciplines across the value chain is a key defining feature of our model. This includes ownership of product design & curation, focus on speed of concept to market and consistency of offers across channels.

Consistently introducing on-trend offerings with a compelling value proposition, coupled with control of our consumer touch points differentiates our brands. Customers subconsciously attach more value to full-priced offerings and correlate full price to a strong brand. Consequently, we stay away from discounting and also avoid active marketing spends. We instead focus on being accessible and building a critical mass of presence to drive awareness. This model facilitates a strong, organic connect with our customers while at the same time affording better economics.

In many ways Trent is quintessentially direct-to-consumer as we adopt direct reach and eschew third party channels & intermediation of any kind. We adopt a deeply integrated approach to our stores and digital channels. Nearly 100% servicing of Westside online orders from stores, and the seamless experience across customer journeys is a case in point.

While this approach has meant a more calibrated playout of scale, it has nevertheless yielded a more robust control over each of our brand propositions. As we have gained critical mass with our fashion brands, we now see a growing flywheel of market traction allowing us to accelerate growth.

Trent has evolved into a platform that allows us to originate, incubate and scale a portfolio of growth engines. This, by adopting a deeply differentiated approach to customer facing aspects of brands and at the same time a deeply integrated approach with respect to systems, processes and infrastructure as we seek to address market opportunities.

Over time, we seek to build out a compelling and future-fit portfolio of lifestyle brands that straddle the fashion-value pyramid. As part of this agenda, we are strengthening our core to drive efficiencies, enhancing our product proposition in select categories and driving premiumisation by way of improved products, convenience and experience.

Trending aspirational fashion

• Synchronized proposition in-store and online

• Digitally-enabled supply chain

• 100% exclusive retail brand portfolio

Westside, Trent?s leading lifestyle concept, offers branded fashion apparel, footwear and accessories for women, men and children, along with a wide range of home furnishings & decor. Westside has an active presence in all aspects of the value chain, including design, production, supply chain, stores and customers. It offers a differentiated portfolio of exclusive brands that are in sync with latest fashion trends, appealing to a wide spectrum of style conscious consumers across defined customer segments.

Fresh fashion at stunning prices

• Accessible & vibrant stores

• 100% exclusive retail brand portfolio

Everything about Zudio is anchored around accessibility. Zudio offers function and fashion at irresistible prices for women, men and children. The exclusive offerings are curated in-house and made available at very sharp price points. Zudio has evolved into a rapidly growing concept that appeals to all with a deep commitment to being accessible across facets - fashion, reach and lifestyle.

Focus on fresh offerings

• Scaling up own brands

• Sharp pricing

• Digitally-enabled

• Proximate reach

This supermarket concept operating under the Star banner offers a curated assortment of products including FMCG, staples and a comprehensive fresh offering (vegetables, fruits, dairy & non-vegetarian products). The offering is also supported by a compelling range of our exclusive retail brands at attractive prices. The Star format has increasingly evolved into a sustainable model with growing sales densities and repeat customers.

Indian in essence, luxe in spirit

• Premium and contemporary

• Differentiated and elevated occasion wear

Samoh focuses on elegant, expressive, modern silhouettes and a new approach to wardrobe that emphasizes versatility. Samoh debuted with its first-ever store in Lucknow and caters to those who appreciate luxurious and modern take on cherished designs and motifs from the Indian hinterland. Samoh?s range draws inspiration from traditional roots and blends it seamlessly with modern aesthetics. It aims to provide a compelling touch of luxury and sophistication to its customers while they shop for their special moments.

Modern Indian lifestyle destination

• Elegant in-store aesthetics

• 100% own branded portfolio

• Westside?s select categories brought closer to customers

Utsa is a modern Indian woman?s lifestyle destination offering apparel, footwear, innerwear, beauty and accessories. Utsa is a portal of discovery - curating the best of Westside and appealing to the creative, discerning and aspiring woman. The stores present an appealing space between 2,000-3,000 sq.ft.

On-trend lifestyle at irresistible pricing

• Led by the beauty offer

• Glide slope to an own brand portfolio

• Accessible & vibrant stores

Xcite/ Misbu stores offer a curated and compelling range of beauty, personal care, fashion accessories and decor targeted at Gen Z and millennials. The tight footprint stores offer a fun and delightful shopping environment with on-trend products offered at sharp value. As in the case of Westside and Zudio, the concept leverages the Trent platform while being sharply differentiated in customer facing aspects. We now have a few stores across select markets as we incubate this proposition.

Westside

Westside, Trent?s leading lifestyle concept contributes significantly to its revenues. It is a destination brand that caters to a discerning and diverse audience of fashion across mens, womens, kids, innerwear, beauty & personal care, footwear and home. The business has progressively evolved into a unique model with aspirational & exclusive retail brands coupled with offerings that are customer pull-led. As of March 2023, Westside had 214 stores across 90 cities with additional online reach across India exclusively through Westside.com and Tata Neu.

Westside?s business model allows active ownership across the value chain with respect to key aspects of design, branding, sourcing, logistics, pricing, display, promotion and selling. This enables quick conversion from concept to products in stores, delivering latest fashion trends through a portfolio of exclusive retail brands. This approach from various perspectives, including from a ‘return on capital employed? context, has been more sustainable than business models which retail third party brands. Empirical evidence also seems to suggest that globally retailers who control the entire value chain are relatively more resilient. Over 90% of merchandise is near-shored from within India, thus ensuring increased agility and transparency of the supply chain.

We continue to focus on elevation of our overall customer proposition with on-trend fashion, aspirational brand experience and convenient access across store & digital channels. During FY23, Westside focused on key initiatives including:

• Emphasis on freshness & on-trend fashion coupled with efficiency of supply chain

• Scaling and leveraging the annual subscription-based customer engagement program - WestStyleClub

• Accelerating reach coupled with focus on high-quality store footprint with prominent street presence

• Seamless proposition across store & digital channels; doubling down on the online channel

• Leveraging social media to grow reach and actively appeal to a younger audience

Aided by the approach, Westside registered 49% like-for- like growth in sales in FY23.

Exciting fashion brands

Westside offers a portfolio of exclusive fashion brands. Our teams, from design to customer service, continually work to understand customers? unique fashion tastes and seek to provide products in a fast and agile manner.

Our retail brands are spread across customer lifestyles and price tiers to ensure that distinct customer segments are addressed with relevant propositions. This segmentation provides our customers with distinct choices and makes it easier for them to shop as they can identify the ranges most suited to their preferences. Exciting campaigns through brand videos and social media engagement further support our brands in communicating their unique identities.

The association of fashion with beauty is relatively seamless with our audience. As our beauty offering under the umbrella of StudioWest continues to grow, we are enthusiastic about building this business further as a destination category by providing our customers with differentiated, high-quality and yet attractively priced products.

Highly prominent & contemporary stores and lifestyle store experience

We increasingly seek to grow a portfolio of prominent stores that have significant street presence in marquee locations with a minimum footprint of c.20,000 sq.ft. Also, we see the need for our stores to provide a visual and experiential ‘sense of arrival?. This, together with striking visual merchandising across channels, vibrant shopping ambience and convenience, are all important aspects in shaping customer perception of the brand. The consistent objective is to make our stores well laid out and easy to navigate, providing a curated "fashion theatre" experience. The total investment in a new Westside store leased and operated by the Company is in the region of 7-8 Crore across capex, deposits and inventory.

Property selection is a critical building block that has a significant impact on store level economics. This process entails a rigorous set of reviews utilizing multiple key criteria to identify promising locations with strong economics. Our in-house property team is supported by a well-defined set of processes for analyzing potential markets & catchments to identify and capitalize on expansion opportunities.

During the year under review, we pursued the following key initiatives on this front:

a) Sustainable store expansion, optimization and absorption

At the end of the year under review, Westside had 214 stores operational across the country. During FY23, we added 20 new stores and consolidated 6 stores. We are evaluating numerous emerging micro-markets with significant growth potential across India to pursue a disciplined expansion strategy with strong focus on store level economics. We also conduct active store optimization programs which involve identifying brand diluting stores and upgrading them with newer stores in more attractive micro-markets. We believe that our stores in addition to being a venue to sell our products also give us a direct connection to our customers.

b) Modernization and space management

While store expansion is a key growth lever for us, maintaining the quality of stores and ensuring consistent customer experience is equally important to us at Westside. As an ongoing initiative to emphasize contemporary look & feel and improve consistency of brand experience across the store portfolio, Westside is focused on the store modernization program. Efficient utilization of retail space is one of our key initiatives. Westside continues to assess stores in terms of revenues and revisit space allocated to brands with differentiated performance.

Customer communication

Our customers are at the heart of everything that we do. We recognize that customer engagement is a combination of personalized communication as well as engaging social media content. We aim to build an exclusive community of loyal members. Customer centricity is moving with our audience, anticipating their shifts and engaging with relevance.

a) Social media

Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube facilitate our interaction and engagement with our customers. Our core messaging celebrates style, individuality & conversation and is not transactional. Our customers are our biggest influencers and advocates.

We collaborate with leading fashion bloggers, vloggers, influencers and organise popular fashion & youth events to reinforce our brand messages to a wider audience. Our recent collaborative posts with leading influencers have been able to generate over 2,50,000 views and engagements a week. The use of targeted communication methods enable us to connect with our customers better and enhance customer satisfaction.

b) Events

Hosting and sponsoring events is a powerful way to connect with our target audience, showcase our products and services, and establish ourselves as thought leaders in the industry. At Westside, we have curated such experiences across our target audiences and strengthened our community engagement. Some of them being, member exclusive & in-store events to treat our top loyal members, music events in collaboration with NCPA for our modern customers and music tours & college fests with Gen Z artists for our contemporary customers. These touchpoints provide us with a platform to build strong relationships with potential partners and customers.

c) WestStyleClub

Completing its third year of launch, we have witnessed strong traction for WestStyleClub - our annual subscription program. We welcomed over 2.8 million subscriptions to the Club in FY23. Targeted, customized, and topical campaigns along with data-driven analytics, have helped us achieve sales contribution of over 84% from members. We continue to see strong engagement levels with our community of customers contributing to a growing trend of subscriptions, renewals and spends per visit. The following charts present the recent trends of our member base as well as the average amount spent by customers per bill.

d) Customer listening

Westside follows a comprehensive approach towards customer listening that consists of formal research, data analytics and informal feedback through customer support channels. Customer insights gathered across touchpoints help provide strategic and operational feeds for product, brand, customer service and communication. Our cloud-based online platform facilitates real-time and comprehensive feedback capture, response management and customer support.

Integrated value chain

Given the competitive marketplace and an audience with significant real-time exposure to global fashion trends, Westside is increasingly focusing on rapid delivery of latest fashion by sharply reducing the concept-to-customer time. Our bouquet of exclusive brands allows us greater control across the supply chain, ensuring that we deliver the latest fashion every week.

A sustainable supply chain with strong inventory discipline is the backbone of our business. Our warehouse ecosystems service the growing requirements of our concepts. We use technology and strong inventory management systems that enable us to deliver fresh fashion every week along with faster replenishment on an ongoing basis. We are committed to investments in scaling and upgrading our supply chain network with a view to enabling sustainable long-term business growth.

As we emphasize speed across the value chain, it is also critical that we deliver on key operating metrics. For instance, shrinkage is one of the bellwether measures with respect to operating efficiency at stores and distribution centres.

Sourcing

We engage with and support our supply partners to deliver quality fashion offerings in line with customer expectations. We are pursuing multiple initiatives such as driving unit efficiency, optimization of sourcing geographies, smarter fabric choices, consolidation of supplier base, social compliance and deployment of technology to monitor production & quality milestones. We continuously seek to actively cultivate, support and manage our supply partnerships. In this regard, we provide ongoing technical support, stable payment terms and encouragement to scale concurrently.

Given the foregoing approach, we have developed longstanding relationships with a number of our supply partners and seek to ensure that they share our commitment to quality and ethics. Our product quality and sustainability teams partner with independent inspection and verification firms to evaluate suppliers? compliance with applicable laws and our code of ethics. We augmented our vendor engagement programs with special initiatives and continue to support them on an ongoing basis. This is one of the initiatives to continue bolstering and maintaining a sustainable vendor ecosystem that serves as a key enabler for our long-term growth plans.

Integrated stores and online presence

The pandemic had accelerated the adoption of online channels. In keeping with the evolving preferences, we continued to emphasise the seamless access of our stores and follow our customers across channels. The intent is to facilitate access and experience of our brands basis individual preferences and convenience.

We reach a growing online audience through Westside.com and Tata Neu. Our customers continue to increasingly leverage the convenience of digital access with the online channel registering 24% growth in FY23 over the previous year and contributing to around 6% of Westside revenues. Digital content and social media initiatives are increasingly central to the ongoing communication of our customer offer. We have also launched exclusive styles online which are witnessing encouraging traction.

We adopt an entirely integrated model between our stores and online channels with almost 100% of our orders being serviced directly from stores. We seek to deliver a seamless experience to allow our customers the convenience of relating to our brands at their most comfortable moment, place and mode. Our technology stack, centralized inventory management and growing store footprint across geographies are key enablers in this journey. We look forward to growing this channel significantly in the years ahead in order to allow Westside access to a very large and diverse audience.

Westside has possibly emerged stronger as a brand navigating through the multiple pandemic waves. In FY23, Westside registered encouraging operating results. The following chart summarizes the trend in margins over the years, after excluding any IndAS 116 lease accounting standard impacts. Overall, we remain encouraged by the opportunities and economics afforded by this business.

Zudio

Zudio has evolved into a rapidly growing concept that appeals to all with a deep commitment to being accessible across facets - fashion, reach and lifestyle. Everything about Zudio is anchored around accessibility. Zudio offers function and fashion at irresistible prices for women, men and children. The exclusive offerings are curated in-house and made available at very sharp price points. As of March 2023, Zudio had 352 stores across 119 cities, including stores co-located with Star.

Striking fashion - sharp prices

Zudio focuses entirely on exclusive branded offerings, curated in-house and in-line with the latest fashion trends at sharp prices. The offerings are constantly refreshed with the aim to provide new and updated merchandise to customers on every visit. Apart from ensuring differentiated fashion and experience for customers, active control of the value chain is integral to evolving a sustainable business model for this concept. Pitched at a younger audience, we recognize it is critical to be fashion forward and closely synchronized with evolving trends. The emphasis is on minimizing lead times and landing fresh collections in stores as quickly as possible. The aspiration is to constantly shrink the time window between initial design concept to being available on shelf. Merchandise is almost entirely sourced from within India as a matter of choice affording access, speed & flexibility.

Vibrant stores

Zudio stores are present in attractive/ prominent locations and aim to offer an exciting shopping experience for customers. The intent is to have ubiquitous presence over time to aid convenient access and brand visibility. Prominent stores, striking windows & in-store displays and exciting store ambience are key ingredients to driving trial & traction from our customers.

Growing footprint

During the year, Zudio added 125 new stores to its portfolio. With a store footprint of c.8,000 sq.ft., the concept affords expansion across numerous micro-markets. The capital employed for a new Zudio store is in the region of 2-3 Crore including capex, deposits and inventory.

 

Zudio grew its footprint by 125 stores in the last financial year and is now more accessible than ever before with a growing density of presence in multiple micro-markets.

In our food business, we are seeking to offer a curated selection of merchandise with a growing proportion of own-branded offerings. We seek to further differentiate by delivering market leading value, together with competitive product quality and a better shopping experience in terms of proximity and store layout.

Increasingly, our Star food business with tight footprint stores, sharp pricing and focus on fresh is a model that is witnessing resilient customer traction. The performance of Star stores operating under this model is encouraging and we continue to evolve our property portfolio to align with this proposition.

Star

Star stores are primarily operated by Trent Hypermarket Private Limited (THPL) - a 50:50 JV between Trent Ltd. & Tesco Plc UK. The portfolio comprises hypermarket and supermarket stores focusing on categories like food and groceries, home care, apparel, home decor, health and beauty products. The current portfolio consists of 63 Star stores across THPL and Fiora Hypermarket Ltd. (FHL), a subsidiary of the Company, concentrated in 10 cities (Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, Nashik, Kolhapur, Vadodara and Solapur).

The Star business is increasingly anchored on a store proposition offering a curated range of fresh produce, groceries, exclusive brands, FMCG products, home care in a footprint of 18,000 - 20,000 sq.ft. In most stores we operate a Zudio proposition (pursuant to an inter se arrangement between the Company and the Star business) alongside that allows the location to be more of a shopping destination. The stores are designed to make offerings easier to locate and drive price perception while optimizing space.

THPL delivered total income of 1,798 Crore in FY23 visa- vis 1,338 Crore in FY22, a growth of 34.4% on the back of multiple initiatives pursued. The Star business registered strong consumer traction metrics driven by growing footfalls. The number of invoices on a like-for-like basis grew over 60%. Also, revenues registered a growth of 48.2% in LFL performance. The total comprehensive loss decreased to 96 Crore in FY23 from 135 Crore in FY22 on the back of higher sales and decrease in other operating expenses.

Price proposition

In this space, we continue to believe that in addition to delivering an exciting offering it is critical to establish a reputation for a very compelling price proposition for value conscious customers. This is significant as we seek to attract and retain a critical mass of customers in each of our micro-markets and enhance the shopping basket size. This focus on price proposition has led us to have a consistent process of ensuring that our prices are comparable vis-avis other food retailers. At the same time, in order to recoup margins and deliver sustainability, we are emphasizing process efficiency across the board.

Offerings

The focus is on providing a reasonably priced range of hygienic products of high quality comprising of farm produce, a compelling non-vegetarian range and bakery. Over time, the Star offer has evolved into a distinct proposition famous for ‘Fresh Foods?. We have a network of over 800 farmers and source more than 80% of our vegetables and more than 60% of our fruits directly from farmers. We are also among the few retailers in the country to serve our customers a wide range of fresh meats and fish. We believe that exclusive brands are key to a sustainable business model. In a competitive food & grocery market, we seek to set ourselves apart with superior quality and competitively priced exclusive brands. In this context, we have continued to expand our exclusive range in defined categories at affordable prices and great quality (acknowledged by customers in our Net Promotor Scores), benchmarked with leading brands. Our exclusive retail brands (excluding staples, fresh & apparel) comprised 14% share amongst participating categories in FY23. As with fresh foods, majority of the staples are directly sourced from farmers. Our exclusive retail brands span more than 500 SKUs and have continued to witness encouraging offtake in FY23. In several sub-categories, our brands rank one or two in terms of sales and hence compete effectively with leading brands in our stores.

Our exclusive retail brand offerings include:

• Klia: Cl eaning-aids & home care products

• Fabsta: Packaged food and beverages

• Skye: Personal care products

Clustered expansion and online presence

Star has adopted a calibrated approach to expansion in the recent years. We have continued to pursue a clustered approach with stores in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Gujarat with an aim of creating local scale and being closer to customers. This allows us to achieve (a) better understanding of local needs and preferences, (b) cost efficiency due to economies of scale, and (c) increased brand visibility. Increasingly, our Star food business with tight footprint stores, sharp pricing and focus on fresh & own brands is a model that is witnessing resilient customer traction. The performance of Star stores operating under this model is encouraging and we continue to evolve our property portfolio to align with this proposition.

Starquik - the online grocery portal is continuing to witness encouraging customer traction in the micro-markets addressed. The business is integrated for sourcing from the store network, bringing omni-channel convenience for the customer. This has allowed the business to leverage the capabilities and infrastructure across channels. The intent is to scale up the omni-channel operations over time for enhanced customer convenience and reach.

Subsidiaries & alliances

Zara and Massimo Dutti

The Company has two separate associations with the Inditex group of Spain with a shareholding of 51% (Inditex): 49% (Trent) - one entity to operate Zara stores and the other for Massimo Dutti stores in India. The entities essentially facilitate distribution of Zara & Massimo Dutti products in India through their respective stores. The entity for Zara currently operates 20 stores across 11 cities.

During the year under review, the Zara entity recorded revenues of 2,554 Crore. The incremental store openings for Zara continues to be calibrated with focus on presence only in very high-quality retail spaces. The entity for Massimo Dutti operates 3 stores and recorded revenues of 89 Crore in FY23.

As discussed in shareholder meetings and earlier reports, the said entities are obliged to source merchandise only from the Inditex Group. Also, the choice of product & related specifications are at latter?s discretion. Further, the entities are dependent on the Inditex group for permissions to use the said brands in India subject to its terms & specifications.

Including in the context of brand ownership and the arrangements for merchandise supply (with the majority partner entirely controlling these core customer propositions and the terms thereto), the Company views its related commitments as a financial investment. Consequently, it may be appropriate not to consider these commitments as long-term strategic investments integral to our retail operations. The business of these entities is essentially limited to distribution of Zara and Massimo Dutti products in India. Overall, given the nature of the arrangements including with respect to sourcing of merchandise, use of the brands as well as shareholding, it may be appropriate to take cognizance of the related uncertainties & risks involved in the valuation of the associated economics.

Booker India Limited (BIL)

BIL was acquired by the Company in FY20. BIL operates 5 cash and carry stores under the Booker Wholesale banner. Booker Wholesale operates on a footprint ranging between 19,000-25,000 sq.ft. and focuses on categories and assortments relevant to small businesses. BIL?s trading assortment includes products in categories across staples, processed foods, confectionery, personal care, home care, soft drinks, dairy etc. The concept serves kirana stores, traders, wholesalers, small businesses, hotels, restaurants and caterers. Booker stores operate in catchments with large trader and kirana store presence.

BIL has been realigning the store portfolio, refraining from deeply discounted/ negative gross margin trade (on the back of certain wholesale online platforms) and pivoting towards an own branded range in multiple categories. BIL registered consolidated revenues of 592 Crore in FY23 and incurred total loss of 92 Crore. Out of this, loss attributable to equity shareholders is 86 Crore (51% of this is attributable to the Company, given the shareholding).

Fiora Business Support Services Limited (FBSSL)

FBSSL is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. It reported a total revenue of 105 Crore and total comprehensive income of 13 Crore for FY23. It is engaged in providing business support and outsourcing services relating to accounting, merchandising, human resources, payroll, sourcing, warehousing, distribution etc. to Trent & associated businesses.

Other key subsidiaries

Fiora Hypermarket Limited (FHL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the BIL, primarily operates a few of the Star stores in the context of the applicable regulations with respect to FDI in Multi Brand Retail Trading. FHL envisages a phased expansion of Star stores in select regions. In FY23, FHL reported a total income of 187 Crore and total comprehensive loss of 12 Crore. Fiora Online Limited (FOL), a subsidiary of BIL, operates the Starquik online platform. In FY23, it reported a total revenue of 156 Crore and total comprehensive loss of 44 Crore.

Financial Performance

On a standalone basis for FY23, the Company has reported total income of 8,126.89 Crore (4,159.70 Crore in FY22) a growth of 95%, profit after tax of 554.57 Crore (249.63 Crore profit after tax in FY22) and total comprehensive income of 399.00 Crore (246.84 Crore in FY22). Profit from operations was 636 Crore. Profit from operations is before nonoperating items, finance costs, exceptional items & tax and excluding impact of IndAS 116 accounting standard on various line items.

In addition to the performance of the retail business, the Company?s treasury income (other than subsidiaries) represented a reasonable yield on funds. The reported results for FY23 were also impacted by the adoption of the IndAS 116 accounting standard from 1st April ?19 and this adoption has especially impacted rent, depreciation, other income and finance costs in the Statement of Profit and Loss. The net effect of IndAS 116 on the standalone profit before tax for the year was an adverse impact of 91 Crore.

On a consolidated basis, the Company has reported total income of 8,502.94 Crore (4,673.23 Crore in FY22), profit after tax of 393.69 Crore (34.60 Crore in FY22) and total comprehensive income of 245.80 Crore (40.71 Crore in FY22).

The Company registered a growth of 83% in consolidated revenue from operations from 4,498.02 Crore in FY22 to 8,242.02 Crore in the year under review. The net effect of IndAS 116 on the consolidated profit before tax for the year ended March 2023 was an adverse impact of 104 Crore.

The Company reported total expenses of 8,031.28 Crore in FY23 (4,539.71 Crore in FY22). Profit before taxes in FY23 at 552.13 Crore was 396% higher than in FY22 at 111.22 Crore.

Other relevant operating metrics have been discussed as part of the commentary for each of the concepts.

Financial Results (Rs. in Crore)
Standalone Consolidated
2022-23 2021-22 2022-23 2021-22
Total Income 8,126.89 4,159.70 8,502.94 4,673.23
Total Expenses 7,416.38 3,823.54 8,031.28 4,539.71
Profit/(Loss) before tax 710.51 323.00 552.13 111.22
Total Tax expenses 155.94 73.37 158.44 76.62
Profit/(Loss) for the period 554.57 249.63 393.69 34.60
Total Comprehensive Income for the period 399.00 246.84 245.80 40.71

Operating RoCE improved to over 22% in FY23 from 13.5% in the previous year on the back of improved profitability and capital utilization efficiencies

Some of the key financial ratios (with significant YoY change) and related commentary:

Ratio FY22 FY23 Comments
Net Sales/ Average Debtor 207.0 318.2 Debtors are not material in the context of our business model.
Cost of goods sold/ Average Stock 3.1 3.9 Optimal and efficient management of inventory coupled with overall growth is reflected in the improvement seen in inventory turnover.
PBT/ Interest 2.0 3.0 Interest includes the finance cost for interest accrued on lease liabilities under IndAS 116. There was an increase in IndAS 116 finance cost vis-a-vis FY22 alongwith an increase in profits resulting in an improvement in the ratio.
Current assets/ Current liabilities 3.4 2.6 Working capital continues to be in line with the business scale at an optimum level.
Debt/ Equity 1.7 1.4 Debt Equity Ratio has improved over FY22. Debt value includes IndAS 116 lease liabilities
Operating profit/ Net Sales 8.0% 8.4% Operating Profits is reflective of the growth and scale efficiencies
PAT/ Net Sales 6.5% 7.3% Net profit ratio continues to be in line with business outcome
PAT/ Equity 9.2% 18.0% Return on net worth ratio has improved due to better profitability and the impact of Capital allocation efficiencies.

Internal controls & adequacy

The Company has a defined system of internal controls for financial reporting of transactions and compliance with relevant laws and regulations commensurate with its size and nature of its business. The Company also has a well- defined process for ongoing management reporting and periodic review of businesses using the Balanced Score Card process to ensure alignment with strategic objectives.

There is an active internal audit function carried out partly by the internal resources and the balance activity outsourced to external specialist firms. As part of the efforts to evaluate effectiveness of internal control systems, the internal audit department reviews control measures on a periodic basis and recommends improvements, wherever appropriate. The internal audit department is staffed by qualified and experienced personnel and reports directly to the Audit Committee of the Board. The Audit Committee regularly reviews the audit findings as well as adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control measures. Based on their recommendations, the Company has implemented several control measures both in operational and accounting related areas, apart from security related measures.

The Company has put in place a well-defined risk and controls matrix for periodic review of effectiveness of internal financial controls across processes through an active inhouse controls team supplemented with an independent review by an external audit firm. The Company reviews control measures and implements continuous improvements, wherever appropriate. The outcome of review findings are tracked and reviewed periodically by the Audit Committee. The key areas of control review include segregation of duty, authorizations and approvals, monitoring and review, confirmations and reconciliations etc.

Employees

FY23 has been a year of growth and expansion for Trent. We were able to fulfil the commitment we made to ourselves in terms of human capital acquisition, retention and development. With a differentiated front end in terms of product and an integrated backend in terms of common functions, Trent has an organization design which captures the best of both the worlds. We recruited over 500 colleagues in our critical buying, sourcing, merchandising, technical and supply chain teams. We concluded our GPTW? EES Survey in 2022, in which 90% of our employees responded that Trent is a great place to work.

We completed our Leadership of Business Ethics Survey by Neilsen in 2022 in which we saw an improvement in scores for Employees and Associates as compared to 2019. Vendors were covered in the survey for the first time and we saw a score of over 80% in terms of their experience of our ethical framework and practises.

As of 31st March 2023, we had a staff strength of 16,586 (including Westside, Zudio, Xcite and corporate staff), 1,979 at Star and 1,151 at subsidiaries including Booker India Ltd., Fiora Business Support Services Ltd., THPL Support Services Limited, Nahar Retail Trading Services Ltd., Fiora Hypermarket Ltd. and Fiora Online Ltd. with an overall total of 19,716 employees across key concepts/ entities.

Sustainability

In FY23, we have enhanced our efforts towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Trent is working towards a goal that is to "design and deliver fashion & lifestyle brands - responsibly". The Sustainability Framework focuses on Resource Efficiency, Sustainable Logistics, Product Stewardship, Social, Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As a first step towards this, we have submitted our application for Carbon Disclosure Protocol (CDP) for FY22.

Trent is embarking on a journey of making its operations good for the environment, efficient for the customers and economical for the business.

Resource efficiency

Energy consumption optimization is focused towards reduction in energy consumption by improving energy efficiency, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and increasing use of alternate energy sources. Our distribution centres are already powered by solar energy at two locations. Trent is increasingly working towards circular waste management, where waste generated in Trent is recycled to make new products that are again used as part of daily operations. Our aim is to reduce energy consumption by 25% per square foot of space occupied as well as increase consumption from renewable sources.

Sustainable logistics

With increasing business, Trent is increasingly working towards improving efficiencies in the supply chain and reducing emission per garment shipped from vendor to customer on account of logistics.

An efficient logistics management will see :

1. Reduction in average distance travelled per garment achieved by optimising logistics network, opening regional DCs and efficient capacity utilisation of trucks

2. Mix of fleet of trucks in terms of size and capacity

3. Mix of fuel consumed like EV and CNG

Product stewardship

A responsible product requires stewardship in raw materials, design, production and retailing in ways that minimize adverse environmental and social impacts. With increasing scrutiny towards product standards, we prioritize Smeta 4 pillar compliance in areas of social, environmental, health and safety of our workers. We are members of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to ensure ethical and transparent practices in cotton farming to cotton processing and garment stitching. We create ‘Do Good Bags? out of fabric waste, providing earning opportunities to women and avoiding landfill waste.

Social

Trent actively participates in the wellbeing of the society by investing in education, employability of youth and women, entrepreneurship and developmental skill training. More information can be found on the projects under CSR section of the report.

Strategic corporate social responsibility

Strategic CSR activities focus on two dimensions, namely CSR and Sustainability. The activities enable Trent to offset carbon emissions as well as create shared value for communities through environmental regeneration. Shopping bags created by women from NGOs sold in Westside, Zudio and Star Bazaar is a prime example of environmental stewardship to create employment opportunity. Recently, we have planted 200+ trees at our distribution centre through in-house volunteers to enable inclusivity and belongingness along with environmental stewardship.

Governance

Trent is committed to upholding business goals in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first step towards the governance has been taken through the Sustainability Board Committee, which has ratified the sustainability policy and sustainability strategy. The progress is followed up on a monthly and quarterly basis with an internal working committee. We have also submitted our first disclosure to the Carbon Disclosure Portal for Climate Change 2022 questionnaire and received the report for advancements.

Outlook

In many ways, the Trent business platform has emerged stronger having navigated through challenges of the past two pandemic- impacted years. On the back of sustained focus on our brands & customer experience and strong expansion of the store network, the growth momentum for the business has sustained.

We see strong growth opportunities. Our key strategic initiatives are aimed at accelerating the differentiation of our propositions. We are focused on refining our model to consistently deliver the right combination of quality, price and an elevated customer experience. We continue to emphasize own brands, responsiveness to emerging consumer preferences and reaching our customers directly. Acceleration of our reach across geographies, an entirely integrated store & online proposition and digitization of all aspects of our model are key strategic priorities.

Brands & Product proposition • Anchor our exclusive brands on differentiated products, sharp pricing, lifestyle experience and wide reach
• Expand the current footprint of 6.2 million sq.ft. across the country with unique brands such as Westside, Zudio, Star, Utsa and Misbu to address multiple customer segments and value positioning
• Adopt a sharply differentiated approach in customer facing aspects of our brands and yet significantly integrated with respect to the backend
Supply chain • Scale up our supply chain to support growing business focused on delivering freshness consistently
• Continued emphasis on strong inventory related disciplines, sustained delivery of world class retail availability levels and freshness of offer & effective controls across concepts
Customer experience • Actively monitor existing stores and refresh the portfolio through multiple initiatives including absorption/ refurbishment of brand diluting stores
• Adopt seamless integration of our store and online propositions
Direct-to-customer • Expand concepts across attractive micro-markets with enhanced digital reach
• Deliver highly differentiated and brand enhancing store portfolio with benchmark standards
• Accelerate pursuit of a sustainable online business model and digital connect including by leveraging our association with Tata Neu
Viable model • Concentrate resources on substantially growing our concepts - especially Westside, Zudio, Utsa and Star
• Emphasis on sustainable store level profitability and investment in select market opportunities
New partnerships • Creating valuable partnerships such as the one with the MAS Group of Sri Lanka. With the MAS JV, we expect to leverage their domain expertise in design, development, and manufacture of a range of intimate wear and other apparel products

Stakeholder relations

Employees:

Employees at offices, stores, warehouses

Objectives

• Employee growth

• Code of Conduct Commitment

• Fair treatment

• Protecting human rights

Suppliers:

Vendors & manufacturers

Objectives

• Adherence to Code of Conduct

• Constant monitoring Commitment

• Sustainable production

• Fair price

• Human rights

Customers:

Active & potential

Objectives

• Agile & timely response

• Safe & exciting experience Commitment

• Value products

• Brand experience

• Protection of privacy

Community:

NGOs & underprivileged sections

Objectives

• Teamwork

• Code of Conduct Commitment

• Social & economic contribution

Shareholders:

Institutional & private investors

Objectives

• Governance & visibility Commitment

• Value creation

Environment:

Green operations

Objectives

• Reduction in carbon footprint Commitment

• E-waste management

• Reduction in plastics

• Plantation drive

Risk management

The Company follows a risk management approach that is tightly integrated with its strategy planning and performance management processes and has a culture supportive of risk management in dynamic terms. The Company has adopted the COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission) 2017 ERM framework and its related elements. This framework deals with integrating Enterprise Risk Management ("ERM") with strategy and performance. Integrating ERM practices aligned with the COSO framework throughout an organization improves decision-making in governance, strategy, objective-setting and day-to-day operations. It helps to enhance performance by closely linking strategy and business objectives to risk and cultivates an appropriate risk culture. The diligence required to integrate enterprise risk management provides an entity with a clear path to create, preserve and realize value.

The five steps of the risk management framework adopted by the Company are:

Identify and Analyse Assess and prioritize Develop risk response Assess risk response Monitor, communicate & report
Risks are identified across each key business area to achieve our business objectives. Risk impact, likelihood and velocity are assessed keeping business deliverables in frame. Risk management/ mitigation plans are built in alignment with business objective. Ongoing and explicit reviews & conversation about risk help promote a positive risk culture. Regular dialogue with our Executive Committee on how effectively the risks are being managed.
Trent leadership team and management are prompted to express their views and perceptions of risk with regard to their specific business areas and across the business as a whole. Probability and impact of the risk materialising is rated, taking into account the effectiveness of any existing controls. Mitigation and action plans by way of risk acceptance, mitigation, sharing, transferring of the risk within tolerance and appetite. Rapid growth in a business like Trent will continually alter the profile of a risk; therefore risk reviews allow risk owners and management to see the effects of mitigation. A comprehensive risk review is prepared for Risk Management and Audit Committees highlighting key risks and any significant changes. Communication initiatives within the Company ensure dynamic risk awareness and reporting.

The framework identifies internal and external risks faced by the Company including strategic, compliance, financial, operational, sectoral, sustainability (ESG related risks), information and cyber security risks.

Business environment risk: adapting to market & trends On-trend fashion is the centrepiece of our business. Difficulty in adapting to market trends and reacting to changes in consumer expectations is an inherent risk we face. Growing competition and attractiveness of the industry along with innovation in technology further pose challenges to the business on various fronts. Curating the retail space, offerings and display while keeping in mind the micro-markets, demographics and needs/ convenience of the consumers adds to the complexities involved and significantly impacts delivered margins.
Mitigation
• We continuously monitor the market and interact with customers to understand the possible future needs
• We strive to identify and incubate growth drivers/ enablers to deliver business results year on year
• Business continuity plans ensure that all systems necessary to manage operations are active and functional
• Tailoring the space management algorithms in cognizance of regional/ local variations
Customer Acquisition, Retention and Experience Customer acquisition refers to gaining new customers and customer retention is focused on developing better relationships with existing customers with the goal of increasing loyalty and driving repeat purchases. Customer experience represents a summation of how customers feel about our brand, the experience they have with our products and their interactions with the Company at every point of their journey. Customer retention is critical because the cost of acquiring new customers is much higher than retaining existing customers. Customer experience influences customer retention.
Mitigation • Customer interactions and inputs are routinely reviewed and actioned upon • Listening posts are used to capture customers? feedback and inputs on an ongoing basis • Store upgrade, rigorous training of store staff and continuous digital improvement has been a primary focus of the Company to help enhance the customer experience and engagement at various touchpoints in the store and online
Data risk: information and cybersecurity Increased reliance on digital systems raises the importance of cyber security Possible impacts include loss of customer data, business interruptions, potential fines/ reputational damage, etc.
Mitigation • Business systems are continually upgraded to mitigate the risk. Also, we are ISO 27001 certified which ensures that Information Security management system controls are in place and enforced. During the year, we migrated our existing POS system to a new POS system and consequently mitigated certain related risks. In addition, a regular independent third party assessment of data and cybersecurity enables us to strengthen and enhance our IT systems and network environment
Technology risk: e-commerce, social media & business operations Technology plays an important role in managing the portfolio of growing businesses efficiently and effectively. Customers are increasingly looking at e-commerce as a convenient channel for shopping. Brands are required to fulfil this expectation with the promise of offering a frictionless purchase journey. Difficulty in adopting relevant technology can pose a risk for growth agendas.
Mitigation • We actively pursue initiatives to strengthen technological capability and scalability of the business. An omni-channel focussed approach integrating our online and physical stores is an additional step in this direction • Adoption of contemporary digital tools and technology with a focus on enhanced customer experience and process effectiveness
Talent risk: capabilities and succession planning Opening of market post covid has created dissonance in the talent demand and supply. Most organizations are revisiting capability and capacity requirement for newer avenues. Emergence of start-ups and IPO-led funding of new ventures has created deep pockets for select entities. Almost all the industries are confronted with talent attrition. Cost of talent is also on the rise.
Mitigation • We recognise that the primary way to mitigate the risk of attrition is to foster a healthy workplace culture and provide colleagues with development opportunities. We adopt a multi-pronged approach (triad of Education, Exposure and Experience) to identify critical roles & build succession plans • We provide a fair and equal working environment with Tata Code of Conduct as our cultural anchor. Respect, dignity and ethical conduct are the cornerstones of our organization culture. We also adopt appropriate communication and feedback platforms, including external surveys like GPTW and LBE to allow continuous improvement and succession planning, along with continuous investment in learning and development initiatives for our colleagues
Scalability risk Limited availability of quality real estate coupled with high rentals and nonadherence to committed schedules by developers pose significant challenges to deployment of strategic plans relating to expansion. Rapid expansion also entails scalability risks in areas of sourcing and supply chain capabilities.
Mitigation • Rigorous property selection process through multiple filters applied on store quality and economics enables us to expand sustainably. Continuous monitoring of key performance indicators on upcoming projects helps us retain visibility on delivery of store locations • Increasing focus on agile and dependable sourcing, cost efficiencies across the supply chain and backend readiness are integral initiatives given our growth plans
ESG risk ESG exposures comprise of environmental, social and governance related risks and challenges. We have emphasised and adopted forward looking practices to address related objectives. Nevertheless, we recognise that this is an ongoing journey and involves a range of risks that warrant to be mitigated.
Mitigation • We adopt the Tata Code of Conduct which facilitates a fair working environment and appropriate behaviour by employees. We also work closely with our vendors to ensure social compliance and respect for human rights at their premises. We seek responsible business growth and concurrently address ESG objectives • Initiatives under the sustainability agenda have been identified and are integrated with our strategy.
Partnership risk: JVs and associates We have multiple alliances including with Tesco PLC, Inditex and MAS Group. These alliances may entail certain risks including with respect to continuity. The associations with Inditex are dependent on the majority partner for permissions to use the said brands in India subject to its terms & specifications. Also, the entire control over core customer propositions is with the partner.
Mitigation • We have sought to build on the respective relationships and leverage the learnings across concepts to the extent possible/ relevant • In the case of associations with Inditex, we continue to view the said commitments primarily as a financial investment and are cognizant of related uncertainties given the nature of the arrangement

Opportunities and Threats

Opportunities relating to market, customers etc have been articulated on page number 29 of this annual report. The threats and risks to our business along with steps taken to mitigate them are articulated on page number 90.

Cautionary Statement

Statements in the Management Discussion and Analysis describing the Company?s objectives, projections, estimates and expectations may be ‘forward looking statements? within the meaning of applicable securities laws and regulations. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied. Important factors that could make a difference to the Company?s operations include economic conditions affecting demand/ supply and price conditions in the markets in which the Company operates, changes in the Government regulations, tax laws, other statutes and other incidental factors.