Local footwear giant Apex Footwear Limited managed to do good business in the financial year 2021-22 compared to the previous fiscal year, as its sales grew by 10% and profit by 31%, despite high inflation, appreciation of the US dollar, and an increase in business costs.
In light of this growth, the company at its board meeting on 29 September recommended a 35% cash and a 10% stock dividend to shareholders for the last fiscal.
The dividend and financial statement will be approved by its shareholders at the annual general meeting on 23 November. The record date is 24 October for selecting eligible shareholders.
"Since the Covid-19 period, the company has focused on reducing business costs. As a result, it has been possible to sustain growth in profits. In the last financial year, business was good in big festivals as 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 fiscal year, its net profit stood at Tk14 crore and the earnings per share (EPS) was Tk11.70, which was Tk10.53 and Tk8.92 respectively in the previous fiscal year.
At the same time, the revenue of the company was Tk1,297.46 crore, which was Tk1,176.40 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 2021-22, the company's local sales increased by 15% to Tk768.72 crore and exports by 4% to Tk528.74 crore.
Up to 53% of the company's total sales come from leather shoes in the local market while 29% are from synthetic goods. On the other hand, 91% of the exports are leather and the rest is synthetic.
Several officials of the company told TBS that the sale of low-priced shoes increased in the last financial year. However, the sale of high-end shoes has not increased much. And sales through dealers and franchisees increased compared to the company's outlets. Moreover, shoes stocked during the Covid period were sold at discounted prices throughout the year.
Dilip Kajuri of Apex said most of the European brands went conservative in purchase due to a lack of confidence in their consumers. So, they are not ready for increased prices as per the cost hike nowadays, which is a challenge in the export business for the company.
Footwear export pioneer of the country, Apex Footwear was listed on the capital market in 1993. The closing price of its share was Tk304.10 on Thursday at the Dhaka Stock Exchange.
A similar picture is found in the local market in the case of Bata Shoe, the market leader in the shoe business. In January-June this year, Bata's sales increased by 31% to Tk528 crore and profit to Tk33 crore.
During the Covid restrictions, both Apex and Bata saw a decline in sales and profits. While Apex turned a profit there, Bata posted a loss for the first time in its history.