India’s Tata-owned Trent Q2 profit surges three fold, shares hit record high

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian retailer and hypermarket operator Trent on Tuesday reported a nearly three-fold surge in the second-quarter profit because of strong demand, sending its shares to a record high.

The Tata Group-owned company’s consolidated net profit rose to 2.35 billion rupees ($28.23 million) in the quarter ending Sep. 30, despite a 46% rise in total expenses.

Shares of Trent rose as much as 8.7% to a record high of 2,427.1 rupees after the results.

The September quarter witnessed a surge in demand ahead of the festive season, and sales were also boosted by purchases for weddings.

The gross margin profile of Trent’s Westside and Zudio stores continued to grow during the quarter, the company said in an exchange filing.

Most Indian businesses grappled with lower footfalls during the September quarter as rising inflation pushed consumers to tighten their belts.

Retail inflation in India eased compared with the year ago period but continued to stay above the Reserve Bank of India’s tolerance zone of 2% to 6%, with the only respite occurring in September, when the price gauge dropped to a three-month low of 5%.

Still, Trent’s consolidated revenue from operations rose 52.7% to 29.82 billion rupees in the September quarter.

The company, which also owns and operates the Star Bazaar hypermarket chain in partnership with UK’s Tesco, witnessed improved footfalls.

Its peer Arvind Fashions reported a 19% rise in second-quarter profit on Tuesday.

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail will report its results later this week.

($1 = 83.2340 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)