TEXT-India's Rupa & Company upgraded to 'Fitch A(ind)'

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 05:20 hrs

(The following was released by the rating agency)

KOLKATA/SINGAPORE, June 19 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has upgraded knitwear company Rupa & Company Limited's (Rupa) National Long-Term rating to 'Fitch A(ind)' from 'Fitch A-(ind)'. The Outlook is Stable.

A list of additional rating actions is provided at the end of this commentary. The upgrade reflects improvement in Rupa's overall financial profile over the past two financial years (year end March). Revenue increased to INR7,110m in FY12 from INR6,500m in FY11 and INR5,325m in FY10, while operating EBITDA margins rose to 12.7% from 10.6% and 8.2% during the same period. Gross financial leverage improved to 1.95x from 2.67x and 2.85x and interest coverage to 4.63x from 4.67x and 7.5x, respectively. The improvement was driven by a favourable change in the product mix leading to better operating EBITDA margins. Fitch believes this will be sustained by Rupa's strong branding across all product segments of the industry and its strong distribution network of around 1,000 distributors.

A positive rating guideline would be further improvement of its gross leverage below 1x on a sustained basis. A negative rating guideline would be increase in its gross leverage above 2x on a sustained basis. Rupa listed its shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange Limited and the National Stock Exchange Limited in September 2011. Rupa continued to be a leading knit wear company with a pan-India presence.

It has offices in Kolkata, Delhi, Tripur and Bengaluru.

Fitch has also taken action on Rupa's bank loans, as follows: Long-term loans of INR240m (reduced from INR354m): upgraded to National Long-Term 'Fitch A(ind)' from 'Fitch A-(ind)' Fund-based limits of INR1,500m (increased from INR1,150m): upgraded to National Long-Term 'Fitch A(ind)' from 'Fitch A-(ind)' and affirmed at National Short-Term 'Fitch A1(ind)' Non-fund-based limits of INR100m (reduced from INR130m): affirmed at National Short-Term 'Fitch A1(ind)' Proposed INR500m fund-based limits: assigned final National Long-Term 'Fitch A(ind)' and National Short-Term 'Fitch A1(ind)'

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