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Pantaloon Profit Gains 71% on New Store Additions

Pantaloon Retail India Ltd. (PF), the nation's biggest supermarket operator by market value, said third-quarter profit rose 71 percent as it added new stores and sales at existing outlets climbed.

Net income rose to 321 million rupees ($8 million) in the three months ended March 31 from 187.2 million rupees a year earlier, the Mumbai-based company said today. Sales rose 57 percent to 13.6 billion rupees.

Managing Director Kishore Biyani is boosting sales by opening stores and increasing promotions to attract customers. The company plans to almost double its Big Bazaar hypermarket stores to 160 by the end of this year as it seeks to benefit from rising domestic consumption. Sales at all chain stores in India may rise eightfold to $97 billion by 2012, consultant Technopak Advisors Pvt. forecast.

The company will have as much as 11 million square feet of retail space in the year ending June 30 and will almost double that to 20 million square feet by June 30, 2009, Biyani has said.

Biyani has expanded his businesses to include consumer finance, retail broking and investment advice to get a bigger share of consumer spending in India.

To contact the reporters on this story: Saikat Chatterjee in New Delhi at schatterjee4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Millard at mmillard2@bloomberg.net

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