Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), one of country’s largest domestic equity market investors, has picked up more than 2% stake in Bata India, thereby becoming one of its largest non-promoter shareholders with a 7% stake.

The transaction comes at a time when the shoe retail major has delivered unimpressive results for the September quarter with earnings degrowth, and may suffer downgrades in times of demonetization.

Bata India reported a flat growth in standalone net profit at Rs 50.49 crore during the first quarter and a 1.46% drop in net sales at Rs 674.26 crore. The footwear major followed it up in the second quarter with a sharp 36.3% drop in bottomline to Rs 34.6 crore while total income rose just 1.4% to Rs 583.7 crore.

Shares of Bata are down by about 30% since July, before the company announced its first quarter earnings.Bata plans to capitalise on healthy trend in its women’s and kids’ footwear by launching new designs at regular intervals. It also intends to increase rural penetration via the wholesale route.Besides, the company plans to once again focus on ad spends (which was about 1% of revenues in FY16) to highlight its new launches without impacting margins, hiring an expert to strategise its advertising strategy, analysts said.

http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-lic-gains-firm-footing-in-bata-with-2-stake-buy-2281945

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