Eveready growth to be backed by 'adequate' profitability: MD Suvamoy Saha

Eveready achieved a growth of 10 per cent over the previous year in its topline, driven primarily by the premiumisation of product portfolio

Khaitans step down from Eveready board after Burman Group open offer

Ishita Ayan Dutt Kolkata

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The country’s largest dry cell battery maker, Eveready Industries India, will strive to achieve growth backed by ‘adequate’ profitability in the current financial year, the company’s Managing Director, Suvamoy Saha told shareholders at the annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Eveready achieved a growth of 10 per cent over the previous year in its topline, driven primarily by the premiumisation of product portfolio, Saha said. “The growth was 14 per cent if the discontinued business of appliances was ignored.”

However, he added that while the growth was much cherished, it came accompanied with a slight dip in the Ebitda at 8.3 per cent of operating revenue as compared to a 10.0 per cent in the previous financial year.

The dip was attributed to adverse foreign exchange rate movements, high inflation in key raw materials, increased spend on advertising and promotion, and costs incurred on consulting advice taken by your company.

Also Read: Eveready will focus on growth but in a profitable manner: Mohit Burman

In FY23, Eveready’s revenue from operations had stood at Rs 1,320.17 crore as against Rs 1,196.46 crore in the previous year. Profit after tax at Rs 20.13 crore was down from Rs 47.48 crore in FY22.

Saha said that most of the heavy lifting in the company’s transformative journey during the year was done. “Looking ahead, I am confident that our initiatives will yield substantial returns. While I anticipate short-term challenges as we continue to execute our change initiatives, we remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver sustainable, long term growth and creating value for our shareholders,” he said.

This was the first year of operations under the Burman family, promoters of Dabur India. The AGM was chaired by Anand Burman, non-executive chairman of the company.

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Responding to shareholders on the company’s future roadmap, Saha said, the plans for the next 18 months centred around the two traditional core categories of batteries and flashlights and the new category of lighting. “We have enough scope for growth from these verticals.”

In due course, he said, newer categories that fit in with the brand and distribution strengths, may be considered. “But this is as and when the time comes. For the moment, at least for the next 18 months or thereabouts we are completely engaged to explore and exploit the entire opportunity that exists within the battery vertical and also the flashlight and lighting verticals.”

On guidance for the year, he said, “We would like to grow at a similar speed as last year but we would like to ensure that this growth is backed with adequate profitability. We did take some hit in the previous year and we expect that we should be able to exceed our profitability percentages that we recorded in the previous year.”

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On debt reduction, Saha said, Eveready hopes to be debt-free in the next 2 to 3 years.

First Published: Aug 02 2023 | 2:24 PM IST

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