Apex Footwear’s annual sales up 10%, profit up 31%

Local footwear giant Apex Footwear Limited managed to do good business in the 2021-22 financial year compared to the previous financial year, with sales up 10% and profits up 31%, despite inflation high, an appreciation of the US dollar and an increase in business costs.

In light of this growth, the company, at its September 29 board meeting, recommended a 35% cash dividend and a 10% stock dividend to shareholders for the past fiscal year.

The dividend and the financial statements will be approved by its shareholders at the annual general meeting on November 23. The record date is October 24 for the selection of eligible shareholders.

“Since the Covid-19 period, the company has focused on reducing business costs. As a result, it has been possible to maintain profit growth. Over the past financial year, business has been good in the big festivals because there were no Covid-19 restrictions,” Dilip Kajuri, chief financial officer of Apex Footwear, told The Business Standard (TBS).

According to the company’s financial report for the last financial year, its net profit was Tk 14 crore and earnings per share (EPS) was Tk 11.70, or Tk 10.53 and Tk 8.92 respectively during of the previous year.

At the same time, the company’s revenue was Tk 1,297.46 crore compared to Tk 1,176.40 crore in the previous year.

Company sources said more than 60% of its revenue comes from the local market and the rest from export. In 2021-2022, the company’s local sales increased by 15% to Tk 768.72 crore and exports by 4% to Tk 528.74 crore.

Up to 53% of the company’s total sales come from leather shoes in the local market, while 29% comes from synthetic products. On the other hand, 91% of exports are leather and the rest are synthetic.

Several company officials told TBS that the sale of low-cost shoes has increased over the past fiscal year. However, the sale of high-end shoes has not increased much. And sales through dealerships and franchisees have increased relative to corporate outlets. In addition, shoes stored during the Covid period were sold at reduced prices throughout the year.

Apex’s Dilip Kajuri said most European brands have opted for caution in their purchases due to a lack of trust in their consumers. Thus, they are not ready for a price increase due to rising costs these days, which is a challenge in the export business for the company.

A pioneer in the country’s footwear export, Apex Footwear was listed on the capital market in 1993. Its share price closed at Tk 304.10 on Thursday on the Dhaka Stock Exchange.

A similar picture can be found in the local market in the case of Bata Shoe, the market leader in footwear. In January-June this year, Bata’s sales increased by 31% to Tk 528 crore and profits to Tk 33 crore.

During the Covid restrictions, Apex and Bata saw their sales and profits drop. While Apex made a profit there, Bata recorded a loss for the first time in its history.

Sallie R. Loera