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Aditya Birla Retail mulls expanding supermarket chain 'More'

Mumbai, Dec 24, (PTI):

Aditya Birla Retail (ABRL) that operates supermarkets and hypermarket formats under the 'More' brand, today said it is eyeing a break-even at the company level by financial year 2014-15.

The retail major is also looking at scaling up its supermarket and hypermarket chain to 1,300 and 65, respectively by 2016. Currently it runs 540 supermarts and nine hypermarkets across the country.

"We are hoping to be PAT positive by FY15 at the company level. We see EBIDTA break-even by 2013. However, most of our stores are already profitable and the new stores will be profitable in 15-20 months," ABRL CEO Thomas Varghese told PTI.

On investments for store expansion, Varghese said it will invest Rs 18-20 crore in its hypermarket and around Rs 40 lakh in supermarket every year, he added.


Varghese said that the company plans to have 12 hypermarkets and add around 100 supermarkets by this fiscal-end.

The hypermarkets will come up in existing metros like Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai, while the supermarkets will come up in Tier-II cities such as Surat, Nagpur, Kolkata and Bhubaneswar among others.

'more', which started operations in early 2007 with the acquisition of Trinethra Super Retail, a South India-based supermarket chain, was quite optimistic about the expansion plans but the last few months had been challenging as the developers were not ready with the infrastructure, Varghese said adding that the company will add 0.9-1 million square feet retail space every year for the next three years.

He said presently, it has around 1.2 million sq ft and hopes to have around 2 million sq ft by this fiscal-end.

'more's supermarkets have an average size of 2,500 sq ft and hypers 55,000-60,000 a sq ft.

He further added that it expects the chain to end the fiscal at  Rs 1,720 crore. In  FY 2010 it earned around Rs 1,430 crore.

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