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Liberty revamps product portfolio

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, April 16

THE Rs 400-crore Liberty group today announced a revamp of its product portfolio, and has projected a 25 per cent growth this fiscal for its footwear company - Liberty Shoes Ltd.

Announcing the introduction of its Summer 2003 collection comprising 115 new styles at a press conference here, Mr Adarsh Gupta, Executive Director, Liberty Group, said: "We will continue to offer value-for-money products, which has been the cornerstone for our strategy all along."

About VAT he said, "We implemented an uniform wholesale price for dealers across the country, beginning April 1, in anticipation of the new VAT regime. We are currently absorbing the additional tax burden arising out of the uniform wholesale price and the different sales tax rates in the States.''

Since the maximum retail price of the company's products was uniform across the country, the difference in sales tax rates in States was affecting the margins of the dealers but the VAT regime would change that, he said.

The overall domestic footwear market was estimated at Rs 10,000 crore, 85 per cent of which was accounted for by the unorganised sector. Liberty Shoes claimed a current market share of 30 per cent in the Rs 100-plus category, company officials said. While Footfun is Liberty's leading sub-brand by volumes, Fortune is the biggest sub-brand by value.

Liberty Shoes currently had 350 exclusive stores, and another 20 would be added subsequently, company officials said.

Meanwhile, it proposes to set up exclusive Liberty showrooms in Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic next year, officials said. The company already has 10 exclusive stores in other countries.

He said Liberty exported its products to over 20 countries, including Germany, Britain, Spain and Italy, and that about 20 per cent of its turnover came from overseas markets.

It had allocated a budget of Rs 10 crore for advertising this year, officials said.

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