Fabric and clothing producer S Kumars Nationwide (SKNL) recorded a 7% drop in first quarter profit to INR512m (US$10.6m), in spite of a 33% sales surge.

However, the Indian company pointed out that its net profit before a minority interest in its Reid & Taylor subsidiary had risen 12.1% to INR617.4m.

Increased future investment in Reid & Taylor should boost value for SKNL as a whole, despite the presence of the minority interest, it added.

SKNL, which recently took over US suit maker Hartmarx Corporation in tandem with private equity group Emerisque, saw first quarter sales leap by 32.6% to INR7.1bn.

EBITDA was up 28.3% to INR1.62bn, despite a slight softening of margins from 23.6% to 22.8%, SKNL said.

Company managing director Nitin Kasliwal drew attention to the potential development of Hartmarx's 34 brands, plus the launch of the company's new HVFC manufacturing facility, which began commercial production during the quarter.

"With a leading presence in the branded domestic textile and garment space, a growing presence in the international arena and an ever-increasing appetite for growth, we are truly excited about the opportunities that lie ahead," he said.

Sales for the luxury textile segment, under the Reid & Taylor name, were up 29.4% during the quarter, while ready-to-wear garments revenues surged by 40.9%.

Consumer textiles sales were up 30.3%.