Bengaluru: Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL), which sells apparel under brands like Van Heusen and Pantaloons, swung to a profit in the fiscal third quarter as revenue grew due to the wedding season, a strong winter and end-of-season sales.

For the October-December quarter, ABFRL’s standalone profit after tax was Rs35 crore, compared with a loss of Rs12 crore a year ago. Revenue rose 8.57% to Rs1,862 crore from Rs1,715 crore in the previous year.

Even though October sales were impacted by a shift in the festive season to the previous quarter, they bounced back during the rest of the period, ABFRL said in a filing with BSE on Friday.

Going ahead, the company plans to restructure its fast-fashion business for more effective growth and will continue to invest in the athleisure and innerwear categories and build on its global brand portfolio.

Revenue at ABFRL’s Madura Fashion and Lifestyle segment grew 24.9% to Rs1,319 crore. Sales at the Pantaloons division grew at a slower 12.46%, but swung to a quarterly profit of Rs29 crore from a loss of Rs6 crore before finance costs and tax.

Apart from Pantaloons, all other brands sold by ABFRL come under its Madura segment and are further divided into lifestyle, fast-fashion and other categories. While the lifestyle brands performed well, revenue at fast-fashion brands, which include names like Forever 21 and People, declined 14% as the company closed or resized legacy stores. Ebitda losses in this category also increased because of a one-time inventory correction in Forever 21, the company said.

As of 31 December, the various brands together had 2,156 stores while Pantaloons had 256 outlets.

ABFRL plans to continue with its rapid store expansion strategy for Pantaloons, it said, adding that 93% of the brand’s sales came from loyal customers.

The company also opened around 6,000 outlets to sell innerwear across 75 towns. It will launch the first Ted Baker store—a British luxury clothing brand—in the current quarter. It signed a licensing and distribution agreement with luxury label Ralph Lauren on 30 January.

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