Blackstone-controlled Gokaldas Exports cuts net loss on forex gains

Garments exporter Gokaldas Exports Ltd has cut its net loss by a third in spite of deteriorating operating earnings in the first quarter ended June 30, 2013, on the back of gains related to depreciation of Indian currency as against a hit on earnings due to forex losses in the year-ago period.

The company, majority-owned by the private equity firm Blackstone, saw 31 per cent reduction in net loss to Rs 16.3 crore in the first quarter, compared to a net loss of Rs 23.6 crore in the first quarter of last fiscal. Its revenues stood at Rs 258 crore on a standalone basis in the quarter, clocking 14 per cent growth over the year-ago period. The firm’s operational earnings were hit as expenses sped faster than growth in revenues during the quarter.

The quarter also witnessed enhanced demand patterns from Asian countries, the company said.

According to a company statement, demand from western economies has been weak in the backdrop of continuing sluggish economic situation prevailing in the global markets. Due to weak demand, retail prices continue to be under pressure globally, affecting price realisations. In India, inflationary conditions continue to persist – thus leading to rise in wages and other operational expenses.

“In order to counter sluggish market conditions, we have been working towards selectively expanding our customer base in the export market and enhancing our domestic presence as a preferred vendor. This has reflected in top line growth in Q1 FY14, as well as in the strong order book position for the second quarter of FY14,” the company said.

Blackstone holds 68.27 per cent in the company while previous owner, the Hinduja family, has around 20 per cent stake. Blackstone had invested in the company way back in 2007 and put in more than $150 million in the public-listed textiles company in one of the rare control deals in India. It has seen the value of its investments shrink 90 per cent.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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