New Delhi: Watches and jewellery maker Titan Company Ltd witnessed better-than-expected retail sales in its jewellery division at the beginning of the third quarter ended December. However, its watches division posted flat growth, the company said in its quarterly update on 4 January. In the second half of December, business at the maker of fragrances, eyewear, and watches was impacted due to heavy protests in parts of the country.

Strong wedding and festive sales helped Titan's jewellery division clock a 11% growth in revenue, while retail growth came in at 15% in the third quarter.

“Retail sales in jewellery were better than expected at the beginning of the quarter, possibly due to a good wedding season and reasonable inelasticity of wedding jewellery, but growth in watches and eyewear were difficult to come by," Titan said in a filing with stock exchanges.

The third quarter is crucial for most retailers as festive demand coupled with wedding season helps shore up sales across jewellery, apparel, appliances, and other consumer goods. However, a general gloom in consumer sentiment and lower walk ins has been a concern for most retailers over the last few quarters.

But the festive season witnessed reasonable growth, said Titan that runs the Tanishq jewellery retail bran, among the country’s top jewellery retail chains. This helped the company meet its revised (lowered) targets for the quarter. “The jewellery industry witnessed reasonable growth in the festive season and the company itself did better and market share gains were evident. The division met its revised expectations for the quarter." During the year, Titan’s jewellery division added 34 Tanishq stores, and 8 Mia stores on a net basis.

However, protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act that started in the middle of December in parts of the country disrupted business for the company. “Sales in all divisions in the second half of December was also impacted to some extent due to forced store closures due to the protests in the North East and in many other parts of the country," the company said.

Titan's watches division, however, continued to be a drag in the December quarter. The company that sells its popular Titan, Sonata, and Fastrack watches witnessed a flat growth in the third quarter compared to a year-ago period.

“(Watches) Division's growth for Q3 was flat compared to previous year. Market for watches itself is estimated to have declined by around 4% due to poor customer sentiment and this led to primary sales to trade and e- commerce channels declining sharply," the company said.

Titan’s eyewear business grew 2% in revenue as competitive activity, lower primary sales to trade channels and the disruption in the second half of December due to the nation-wide protests impacted the sales after two strong quarters.

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