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Spencer’s would provide its entire basket of retail products through its online platform, starting with grocery and food and later extending it to non-food items. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
Spencer’s would provide its entire basket of retail products through its online platform, starting with grocery and food and later extending it to non-food items. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Nature’s Basket posts positive Ebitda in Q1

  • For the June quarter, Spencer’s Retail Ltd reported standalone turnover of 439 crore down 27% from the year ago period
  • However, the company was able to partly offset losses by its e-commerce business which grew five-fold

Spencer’s Retail Ltd on Tuesday said that its premium food grocery chain Nature’s Basket has reported its first-ever positive EBITDA, a year after it was acquired from the Godrej Group. The chain operates 31 stores in India.

“I am delighted to share that Nature’s Basket Limited has reported positive EBITDA within 1 year of acquisition due to successful integration efforts and has witnessed significant growth despite the challenging conditions by winning the trust of customers," Shashwat Goenka, sector head, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group said in an investor presentation on Tuesday.

The same day, speculation of the chain being in early-stage talks with Reliance Retail for a possible sale were also doing the rounds. However, both companies denied the speculation.

"There are no plans to sell Nature's Basket," a spokesperson for RPSG Group said in a response to a query from Mint. A spokesperson for Reliance Industries Ltd said the company does not comment on media speculation and rumours. "Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis. We have made and will continue to make necessary disclosures in compliance with our obligations under Securities Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations 2015 and our agreements with the stock exchanges," the company spokesperson said.

For the June quarter, Spencer’s Retail Ltd reported standalone turnover of 439 crore down 27% from the year ago period. For the three months ended 30 June, the retailer’s quarterly losses stood at 47 crore compared to a 1 crore profit it reported a year ago largely hampered by the lockdown during the quarter that impacted store operations and footfalls.

Its stores were also restricted to selling only essential items for weeks together, pushing it to temporarily halt sales of high margin non-essential items.

“Spencer’s results reflect the impact of lockdowns, limited operational hours, and restrictions on the selling of higher margin “non-essential" items such apparel, general merchandise, other Non-Food items which were not allowed to sell," the company said in an investor update on Tuesday.

However, the company was able to partly offset losses by its e-commerce business which grew five-fold.

Nature’s Basket Ltd, on the other hand, reported a standalone turnover of 108 crore for the quarter, up 25% from the year ago period. Its quarterly losses shrunk to 4 crore for the quarter ended 30 June 2020. However, since Nature’s Basket was acquired in July 2019, hence a Q1 comparison is not done, the company said.

The chain was acquired by the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group from the Godrej Group for 300 crore in an all cash deal last May, largely to help it build presence in the western Indian market.

The company has since shut loss making stores for the premium retail format that sells gourmet food products to drive profitability. Spencer’s Retail operates close to 190 multi-format Spencer’s (including Nature’s Basket) stores over 42 cities in India. It sells a range of FMCG, fashion, food, staples, general merchandise, personal care, home essentials, and electrical items.

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