Future Retail reports loss of ₹692 crores in September quarter

Future Retail reported a loss of ₹692.36 crores in the quarter ended September 2020, as compared to a profit of ₹165.08 in the same period of the previous year. The loss came after Future Retail reported a loss of ₹475 crores in Q4 on 2nd September.

In a statement, Future Retail said, “COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the business operations and the financial results of the Company for the quarter and six months ended September 30, 2020. The company will continue to closely monitor any material changes to future economic conditions. The company continues to take various precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of its customers, employees, and their families from COVID-19 pandemic.”

The loss might be because of COVID-19 and Reliance and Amazon fighting over Future Retails.

Amazon, the Seattle-based e-commerce firm owned by Jeff Bezos, is fighting over a $3.3 billion deal struck between Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries and the Indian retail conglomerate Future Group.

“If someone backs down, it will give the impression that one has lost and the other has won, when the fight has just started,” said Counterpoint Research analyst Tarun Pathak.

At the heart of the current battle is Future Retail, the cash cow of Future Group. The retail unit includes brands like Big Bazaar, a well-known, popular hypermarket chain in India.

Amazon responded by filing a complaint to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

Indian companies and foreign companies operating in India often agree to settle disputes in Singapore because “it’s a neutral jurisdiction with high integrity and international standards,” according to Ashish Kabra, a lawyer who heads the International Dispute Resolution & Investigations Practice for Nishith Desai Associates in Singapore.

On October 25, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre passed an interim order in favor of Amazon barring Future Retail and it ordered a temporary halt on Future Group’s deal with Reliance.

Reliance (RRVL) said in a statement that its deal with Future Retail is “fully enforceable” under Indian law. “RRVL intends to enforce its rights and complete the transaction in terms of the scheme and agreement with Future group without any delay,” said the statement.

Kishore Biyani who led Future Retail Ltd (FRL) on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that “Amazon was not its shareholder and has no say in its affairs and the interim order passed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) was of no value”.

The court on November 10 sought a response from Amazon on Future Retail’s plea alleging that the e-commerce major was interfering in its ₹24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail on the basis of an interim order by a Singapore arbitrator.

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