Eveready sniffs turnaround

Calcutta, Jan. 10: Eveready Industries Ltd hopes to return to profit this fiscal on the back of sales amounting to Rs 1,000 crore.

"If exchange rate remains stable, we hope to end the year with profit and we are looking at a net sales of close to Rs 1,000 crore," director Amritanshu Khaitan said today.

In 2011-12, the company had suffered a net loss of Rs 79.85 crore.

"Our profitability is dependent on foreign exchange rates and has been under stress. About 50 per cent of our raw materials are imported," Khaitan said.

He added that the company had raised product prices in the past six months and would need to go in for another hike in the next six months to offset the total pressure.

The company's earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation (EBITA) margin has improved to 7 per cent during this fiscal from 4-5 per cent last year.

Meanwhile, the B.M. Khaitan firm plans to foray into portable chargers for mobile devices.

The company has been buoyed by the spurt in the use of smartphones. According to a research by AC Nielson, the smartphone market is estimated to touch 200 million by 2015 from 40 million now.

"This will revitalise and re-energise Eveready's biggest asset, the brand. We will launch a tailor-made campaign for the target audience. Online marketing will also be big. We had received a feedback that the brand was not considered innovative. This product will give us a reason to talk to the consumers. We are test-marketing this in the four metros, Pune and Bangalore and will then go in for a pan-India launch April onwards," Khaitan said.

The company is also setting up a parallel distribution network for the product. "The smartphone story began only 18 months back and we had to find the right product," he said.

The company is looking to garner a 2 per cent share of the smartphone market for its batteries.

The Eveready Ultima Mobile Power chargers will be outsourced from China, while the company will contribute in terms of research and development knowhow.

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