Wipro betting big on retail business

Wipro betting big on retail business

Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting (WCCL), one of the units to be hived off as a separate entity as part of Wipro’s demerger scheme, is confident of volume growth in India and some geographies in West Asia and East Asia, though the institutional business segment is showing “clear sense of slowdown” according to WCCL President Vineet Agrawal.

“We want to record the fastest growth in the FMCG segment and higher than last year, in all segments except for institutional business, as infrastructure projects are down in India, impacting our lighting and furniture sales,” Agrawal told Deccan Herald.

WCCL recorded revenues of Rs 3,340 crore last year, 23 per cent growth year-on-year. During the half-year ended September 30, 2012, its revenues at Rs 1,988 crore were up 28 per cent on year-on-year basis. For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, WCCL revenues were Rs 1,008 crore, up 26 per cent and profit before tax was Rs 113 crore, up 29 per cent, both on year-on-year basis. The division accounted for about 9 per cent of Wipro’s total revenues for the second quarter.

While declining to give full-year revenue projections for 2012-13, citing company practice, Agrawal said, “We are sure of doing better than last year and want to be one of the fastest growing FMCG companies in India.”

According to him, WCCL derives its revenues mainly from three segments – domestic, institutional and international. Its growth has been driven largely by acquisitions in the past that include domestic and international brands. Its latest acquisition was “Cleanray” in the LED lighting segment that has enabled it to drive growth in lighting solutions for green buildings. “We have a market share of about 58 per cent in the (approximately) 192 green buildings in India,” said Agrawal.

He said the international business witnessed reasonable growth in Vietnam, China, Indonesia and the Gulf but did not do well in Singapore and Malaysia, fallout of global economic slowdown. On the domestic front, he said the household segment has been “reasonably unaffected, though inflation has impacted sentiments” during the quarter under review.

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