Jewellers in India are shaking the dust off their expansion plans this year as sales in the second-biggest market are set to increase even more after almost doubling in 2021.
Sales in the country have just started recovering as fears of the pandemic eased. India’s gold imports jumped to the highest level in a decade in 2021 as jewellry purchases surged, according to the World Gold Council. That’s a turnaround for jewellers, who had put expansion plans on hold and focused on shedding debt after demand was hammered for almost two years as the coronavirus led to the postponement of many weddings -- a key source of demand.
Demand is set to grow as much as 10% in the year starting April, according to India Ratings & Research Pvt., the local unit of Fitch Group. That’s encouraging jewellers and the next financial year “shall witness a revival in capital expenditure, while credit metrics will improve over the medium term,” it said in a report Thursday.
Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd. said last month it plans to expand its network by adding 10 to 15 new shops, while Kerala-based jeweller Joyalukkas India Ltd. last weekend announced plans for an initial share sale as it seeks funds to add stores.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Meanwhile, the demand recovery has fueled gains in India’s biggest gold retailer by market value, Titan Co., which has rallied nearly 63% in the past year.
Jewelry retailers’ revenue could rise by as much as 15% in the next fiscal year, backed by high prices of gold and steady demand, and building on an estimated increase of about 22% this year, Crisil Ltd., the Indian arm of S&P Global Inc., said in a note Wednesday.“That will keep the credit outlook for organised jewellers ‘stable’ next fiscal, despite higher capital spending and inventory,” it said. “Revenue growth would have been even higher next fiscal but for the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has cranked up gold prices” and persisting volatility will limit volume growth in the April-June period, it said.