BENGALURU (Reuters) - Footwear maker Bata India Ltd reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as raw material costs softened and demand for brands such as Hush Puppies and Comfit rose.
Consolidated profit at the Netherlands-based Bata BN's flagship rose to 656.23 million rupees ($8.02 million) in the three months ended March 31, from 629.6 million rupees a year ago.
Analysts on average had expected the company to post a profit of 614.6 million rupees.
Bata's consolidated revenue from operations increased 17% to 7.79 billion rupees as fourth-quarter demand was also boosted by robust growth in its Hush Puppies, Comfit, Floatz, Red Label and North Star brands.
The company said in a statement that it had refreshed its portfolio to offer premium products under these brands.
"During the last few quarters, we are witnessing consistent demand for casual and comfortable footwear. This is due to increasing trend for purchase of non-occasion wear and demand for comfort and style," Bata Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Gunjan Shah said in a statement.
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Strong demand for shoes and slippers also helped bigger rival Relaxo Footwears Ltd report a 9.6% jump in its quarterly profit last week.
Separately, Gurugram-based Bata recommended a dividend of 13.5 rupees per share.
Bata's shares closed 0.43% lower ahead of results.
($1 = 81.7800 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)
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