Singer Bangladesh Ltd has been posting continuous year-on-year growth since it registered a drastic decline both in sales and profits in the April-June quarter of 2020 due to a prolonged shutdown.
Defying the pandemic, the listed electronics and home appliances multinational company generated 24% growth in sales and 51% growth in profits between January and March, compared to the same period a year ago ahead of the onset of the pandemic.
On the company's beating the pre-pandemic performance in the first quarter of 2021, Singer Bangladesh's Senior Manager for Marketing and Communication Raziur Rahman said, ''Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Singer has remained very relevant to consumers."
"Singer has focused on the changing needs of consumers in the new-normal scenario," he added.
The company suffered 42% drop in sales and 80% slump in profits over the April-June quarter of 2020 due to the 66-day long nationwide shutdown.
With the virus transmission contained for the time being and the shutdown lifted, the company gained over 16% year-on-year sales growth in the July-September period. The figure was 27% in the October-December quarter of 2020, while the quarters respectively observed 4% and 68% profit growth.
The booming business was still not enough to make up for the loss endured during the shutdown, as the company posted a 2.68% drop in annual revenue and 24% fall in net profit for the year.
The first quarter of this year raised hopes for a better year.
"With the improvement of Covid-19 situation in the first quarter, before it again deteriorated from the later part of last March, the company could return with business growth and better financial results," the company said in the first quarterly statement.
Despite the fact that Singer Bangladesh has had a better collection over the quarter, its net operating cash flow decreased due to higher payments against higher and early imports of raw materials counting on the higher demand in the upcoming peak season for cooling products.
The industry observes a higher demand for refrigerators during the Eid-Ul-Azha season, which fell in the third quarter in recent years.
The company cashed in on the peak season in 2020 as its sales grew to over Tk625 crore in the third quarter, which came down to Tk269 crore in the following quarter amid a fallen demand for refrigerators and air conditioners before the winter.
What may happen this year?
With the shops closed again since 13 April, whether Singer can reach its sales target in the summer this year appears to be a big question now.
Of course, it is too early to predict since no one knows when the situation might improve for the reopening of the electronics and home appliances' outlets across Bangladesh.
One new trend gives rise to optimism and that is online sales.
Talking about the business scenario during the ongoing lockdown, Raziur Rahman said, ''We are meeting the needs of consumers by selling online through our e-commerce site www.singerbd.com."
Besides, Singer has launched a special campaign titled, ''One Call, That's All''; a customer just has to make one call at 16482 to purchase the product of their emergency need.
"We are delivering the product to the customer's residence within 24 hours,'' Raziur added.