• Profit up 6.8% to INR38.46bn
  • Sales rose 11.9% to INR453.63bn
  • Company confident in its outlook 

Indian footwear retailer and manufacturer Bata has booked a 6.8% increase in first-quarter profit, helped by new store openings and improved merchandise.

Net profit reached INR38.46bn (US$708.7m) over the quarter ended 31 March, from INR35.99bn in the same period last year. Sales rose 11.9% to INR453.63bn against INR405.47bn in the prior year.

The company continued its expansion during the quarter, opening and relocating 22 stores, most of which are based on its new large format - over 3,000 sq ft and spread across metros, tier 1 and tier 2 cities.

Group managing director Rajeev Gopalakrishnan said: "Despite the existing market conditions, we achieved a double-digit growth in this quarter. We undertook various initiatives that have helped up continue to maintain our foothold in such a volatile market condition.

"Our strategy of expanding our retail footprint continued with improvised merchandise and better designs and styles with great focus on our product quality and comfort.

Looking forward, Gopalakrishnan added: "Very soon, we hope to see the market condition ease and the company to see better growth in the quarters to come. We've focused on categories like ladies, non-footwear in addition to others and we've seen encouraging results."