Ciel Textile has booked a decline in earnings for its last fiscal as its knitwear unit was impacted by the launch of a new factory in India and the company battled a challenging international retail environment. 

The Mauritius-listed clothing manufacturer saw earnings for the year ended 30 June drop to MUR703.6m (US$) from MUR762.4m a year earlier. Revenues, however, climbed 3.5% to MUR10.48bn.

Ciel's woven division was the strongest performer during the year, both in Mauritius and in Asia, with earnings up 12% to MUR407.9m and sales up 2.9% to MUR5.75bn. The company described the performance of its knitwear unit as "satisfactory", as earnings fell 35.6% to MUR218.1m primarily due to a significant drop in margins and costs to set up a newly automated facility in Madagascar. Sales, however, climbed 4.4% to MUR4.73bn. 

"The current international retail environment, combined with the recent currency fluctuations, are areas of concern and stronger sales' momentum remains a key priority for the Ciel Textile team," the company said. 

"Despite this challenging environment, the woven cluster is expected to deliver a satisfactory performance in the current financial year. The results of the knits cluster will remain partly dependent on the successful development of its operations in India. The restructuring of the industrial activities of the knitwear cluster is only anticipated to have a medium term positive impact on our results."