With a financial restructuring package in place, Timex India has cleared the decks for retail expansion and is bringing in at least three brands from its international portfolio.
Last week, the promoters of Timex Watches Ltd, Timex Watches BV and Time Master BV, reduced their holding in the Indian company to below 74.93per cent from 83.54per cent, through sale of shares in the open market.
This was done to comply with revised SEBI guidelines, according to which minimum public share holding by all listed companies has to be at least 25per cent.
Kapil Kapoor, Timex MD and VP (Asia), told that the fresh inflow of funds, of about Rs 20 cr, will be utilised to invest in retail infrastructure and introducing new brands in the Indian market.
First off the block will be Nautica, Opex Paris and Fcuk, all three of which will be positioned at the premium end of the market. The brands are expected to be rolled out next quarter, Kapoor said.
An investment of Rs 15 cr has been earmarked for taking up the number of standalone stores to 120, from the present 19. Most of these will operate through the franchise model.
The company is, meanwhile, working towards relocating its entire production base from Noida to Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh, to avail of excise benefits in the state.
"We are scaling back operations at the Noida plant, and the entire manufacturing will be shifted to the HP plant in three months," Kapoor said.
A voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees at its Noida facility is already in place. The HP factory was set up on an investment of Rs 5 cr.
Having recorded a topline growth of 21per cent, Timex posted its maiden net profit of Rs 72 lakh in the 2004-05 fiscal.