Apex Footwear Ltd's revenue dropped by 77% in the April-June period, when a countrywide general shutdown over the Covid-19 pandemic was in effect, compared to that during the same period last year.
In the fourth quarter (April-June) of the last financial year its sales stood at only Tk100 crore, down from Tk450 crore at the same time in the previous year.
Apex Footwear's exports nearly halted and its local sales did not come back on track even after the countrywide shutdown was over.
As a result, the company faced trouble in the local market as well as in terms of exports.
Md Omar Faruque, company secretary of Apex, told The Business Standard, "The novel coronavirus crisis has changed the way people spend money. Although people's purchasing power has not decreased, they are not spending extra money on anything other than daily necessities."
After the shutdown was over, the company could manage to make a recovery in sales that amounts to 50% of their sales last year, said the company secretary.
"We have to wait to overcome the current situation and get sales growth," he added.
Asked about the export situation, he said, "Export has been witnessing a negative growth for the last several years as demand for leather products has been falling continuously across the globe."
"The demand for synthetic leather is growing worldwide. But we are not able to invest in such items, because synthetic leather needs big investment and there is huge competition," said Omar Faruque.
"The export situation has worsened more during the pandemic. We do not know how we will survive in the export market," he added.
Under these circumstances, Apex has been focusing more on the local market. The company invested Tk100 crore to increase its production for the local market last year.
The company secretary said they have been trying to complete the project in due time.
Financial Performance of 2019-20
Apex Footwear approved its audited report for the 2019-20 financial year at a board meeting on Monday evening.
The company also recommended 25% cash dividend to its shareholders for the last financial year, which is the lowest payout in the last decade.
The company's total revenue for the last year was Tk1,181 crore, which was 25% lower than that in the previous year.
The company also posted a net profit of Tk6.32 crore and earnings per share of Tk5.62 for the last financial year.
Apex Footwear started its journey more than three decades ago on January 4, 1990.
Apex started its retail chain in 1997 to fulfill the footwear needs of Bangladeshi consumers.
The company was listed on both the stock exchanges in 1993.
Sponsors and directors jointly own 25.48% of its shares, institutional investors own 37.32%, foreign investors own 0.12% and general investors own the rest.
The last trading price of each share of the company at the Dhaka Stock Exchange was Tk233.90 on Tuesday.