Mumbai: Food and groceries retailer Trent Hypermarket Pvt. Ltd (THPL) reduced its loss before tax in 2015-16 to 44.77 crore from 65.37 crore a year ago, according to the company’s annual report.

THPL is a joint venture of Tata group company Trent Ltd with UK-based Tesco Plc, which operates the Star Bazaar, Star Market and Star Daily retail businesses.

Revenue grew 7.5% to 849.42 crore a year ago, the company said, adding like-for-like sales growth of Star Bazaar stores was 9.2%, against 1.1% witnessed in the preceding year. Like-for-like growth refers to comparable growth of stores that have been open for over a year.

The retail chain which had less than 20 stores in the first 11 years of its operations said in December that it will step up on its expansion to grow its store count 10-fold over four years with a focus on smaller stores. Currently, THPL operates 11 Star Dailies, 5 Star Market and 10 Star Hypers in the cities of Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.

In the past year, THPL has increased its fresh offerings by starting to source directly from the farms. Around 70% of the vegetables are now directly sourced and serviced through a network of collection and distribution centers, the company said in its annual report.

Last year, the company had said that it will streamline the group structure and realize synergies with the amalgamation of Tesco Hindustan Wholesaling Pvt. Ltd and Virtuous Shopping Centres Ltd with Trent Hypermarket which has now come into effect from December 2015.

THPL is a multi-brand retail operation which was launched in June 2014 after the government allowed 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector subject to states’ approvals. States like Maharashtra and Karnataka have adopted the policy whereas Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have not.

Stores which are present in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are part of Fiora Hypermarket Ltd, another subsidiary.

Under the multi-brand FDI policy, THPL is required to invest $50 million from the first tranche of Tesco’s infusion for greenfield backend infrastructure. “Consequently, THPL is exploring various opportunities to utilize these funds in a compliant manner," the company said in its press release while sharing that it is developing a series of modern trade solutions that take into account the needs and limitations of the Indian market.

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