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February 15, 2017

Ruchi Soya sales slide, points to demonetisation

Ruchi Soya, the India-based edible oil group, has booked losses of over INR1.8bn for the first nine months of its financial year due to a drop in sales and inventory charges.

By Dean Best

Ruchi Soya, the India-based edible oil group, has booked losses of over INR1.8bn (US$26.9m) for the first nine months of its financial year due to a drop in sales and inventory charges.

The company booked a net loss of INR1.89bn for the period to the end of December, compared to profit of INR1.31bn a year earlier.

Ruchi Soya posted a profit from operations – before “other” income, finance costs and exceptional items – of INR3.16bn, down from INR9.67bn the previous year.

The group generated revenue of INR151.61bn but that equated to a 23.8% fall on the corresponding period a year earlier.

Founder and managing director Dinesh Shahra pointed to the impact of the move by the Indian government in November to pull certain banknotes from circulation on the business, although he said the decision – known as demonetisation – would be a benefit in the longer term.

“Despite the better performance of the soya crop in the current season, the arrival of soybean in the markets was poor during the [third] quarter due to commercial disparity and the effects of demonetisation that caused short-term liquidity and delays in procurement from farmers,” Shahra said. “However, it is our belief that eventually the benefits of demonetisation, coupled with the introduction of GST, will have a far-reaching sustainable impact that will be beneficial to organised players like us in the long run due to lowering of unfair competition from the unorganised sector.”

India is planning to introduce a national goods and services tax, or GST, this year. The Indian government had been looking to bring in the national GST on 1 April but earlier this year said 1 July was a more realistic date.

Shahra said: “GST will allow us to reap the benefits of a unified, pan-India market. Process efficiencies that come in with the new GST regime will also reflect in improvement in the structured margins. We are also working to improve efficiency to enhance the value for stakeholders.”

Earlier this week, Ruchi Soya announced a deal to refine and pack products for local FMCG group Patanjali Ayurved.

Shahra added: “Our strategy to pursue optimal utilisation of spare capacities is showing results and is an affirmation of our quality infrastructure and processing capabilities. The recent tie-up with Patanjali is the outcome for our efforts of better capacity utilisation and we look forward to strong tie-ups with third parties in refining and processing for a mutually beneficial relationship.”

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