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MusicWorld expects 20 pc growth in earnings

Sriram Srinivasan

Chennai , March 18

MUSICWORLD, the RPG group's music retail chain, expects its revenues will top Rs 60 crore (for the year ending March 2004), a more than 20 per cent increase over its earnings last year.

The chain's Vice-President & Business Head, Mr S. K. Chowdhury, told Business Line that the substantial addition to last year's earnings of Rs 52 crore has come about despite pricing pressures. The prices of music CDs and VCDs, which form the mainstay of the organisation's music and video segments, respectively, have on an average fallen by 5-10 per cent over the year, according to an internal report. Which means "we had to sell that many extra units" even to sustain last year's earnings, he said. It has not only surpassed that figure, but in the process, achieved break-even too, said Mr Chowdhury.

MusicWorld now hopes to grow by roughly the same rate and touch Rs 75 crore next year. The music retail chain, which currently has over 200 outlets, plans to launch its full-fledged store (`destination store', as the company calls it) in Mumbai in May this year. The 2,800 sq ft store, which is to come up in Mulund, will be the chain's first `destination store' in the city.

That, in fact, will be the only full-fledged store to be unveiled next year — a year in which MusicWorld hopes to add 100 more outlets, most of them will be `express stores' or small neighbourhood outlets, and `unplugged stores', which are shop-in-shops selling the latest releases.

Two such shop-in-shops will be opened later this month in the temple town of Guruvayur in Kerala, in line with the company's plan to establish a presence in places where it can draw in customers with targeted products.

Mr Chowdhury also said the chain is not averse to taking the franchise route to growth.

MusicWorld currently has 164 shop-in-shops, 32 neighbourhood stores and 14 full-fledged outlets.

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