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India's Arvind Fashions posts smaller Q3 sales growth, sending shares down 9%

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers are reflected in mirror inside a shopping mall in New Delhi

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's Arvind Fashions, which retails clothing from brands such as Arrow, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, reported a slowdown in revenue growth in the key holiday quarter and warned that any improvement would only come next quarter.

The company's shares tumbled nearly 9% after the results, in their biggest intra-day slide in five weeks.

Arvind Fashions' consolidated revenue rose about 5% to 11.25 billion rupees ($135.5 million) in the October-December quarter. That was less than the 7% growth in the previous quarter and a 17% jump in the year-ago holiday quarter.

"Demand trends continue to remain soft," the company said in a statement and said it expects an improvement by the first quarter, which starts in April.

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Retailers have grappled with subdued demand for over a year as inflation-weary consumers cut back on spending.

However, Arvind Fashions' profit from continuing operations rose 14% to 301.2 million rupees in the third quarter. That excluded a one-time gain of 348.2 million rupees from the sale of its unit, Arvind Beauty Brands.

The Bengaluru-based company said its premium brands such as Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger pulled in customers, while its kids wear product sales jumped 15%.

Its rival Shoppers Stop has reported a third consecutive fall in quarterly profit, although Tata Group-owned Trent's profit surged on strong festive-season sales.

Shares of Arvind Fashions fell as much as 9% after the results before recovering to trade down about 3%.

They have gained about 44% over the past 12 months, more than Shoppers Stop's 9% increase but well below Trent's 190% surge. ($1 = 83.0069 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Savio D'Souza)