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Price surge dampens demand for jewellery: Senco Gold Gold price jumped about 10 % in last 30 days, became costlier by 23-25 % (strap)

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KOLKATA, April 12: Jewellery retail major Senco Gold Ltd on Friday said the recent sharp spurt in gold prices due to geopolitical reasons has dampened demand, and the industry’s first-quarter performance hinges upon ongoing buying propensity during festive and auspicious New Year celebrations.

The Kolkata-based retail chain said it has taken a slew of measures to combat the demand situation, with a push toward diamond-studded gold jewellery and consumer-centric schemes.

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However, these may not compensate for the 15-20 per cent de-growth in volume terms witnessed in March and April, a top company official said.

“In the last 30 days, the gold price has jumped about 10 per cent, and in the last six months, it has become costlier by 23-25 per cent. This sharp volatility has hit retail buying sentiment. Volumes have plummeted by 15-20 per cent for the industry,” Senco Gold managing director and CEO Suvenkar Sen said.

Eid, Bengali New Year, Akshay Tritiya, and regional New Year festivities are expected to help bring demand into stores, but cash movement restrictions because of the election model code of conduct might be a hurdle for certain retailers.

Senco had reported a 23 per cent growth in its consolidated net profit at Rs 27.6 crore for the quarter ended June 2023, from revenue expansion of 30 per cent to Rs 1,305 crore.

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He, however, acknowledged that in “value terms,” the market is expected to be flat as gold is hovering around Rs 70,000 per 10 grams.

Sen expects a flattish performance in the year-on-year fourth-quarter sales that ended in March 2024.

The company is in a silent period for results, and thus Sen declined to divulge more specific details.

Senco said that it has introduced a price guarantee scheme for six months under the Marigold scheme, which the industry offers only up to one month until Akshay Tritiya, where a customer books gold and gets immunity from price rise.

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The company is also offering discounts in making charges to push sales during this period. The company also has DigiGold, which allows customers to invest in gold for as low as Rs 300.

Sen mentioned that the company is focusing more on diamond-studded gold jewellery, which has either narrowed the gap or even made ornaments less costly as they are made up of 14-carat gold.

He expects diamonds, including lab diamonds, which account for 11 per cent of total revenue, to increase to at least 15 per cent in the next 2-3 years.

The company’s revenue for nine months ended December 24 was Rs 4104 crore and net profit was Rs 148.8 crore.(PTI)




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