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UB Group to expand portfolio

January 06, 2009 10:39 IST

While the Bangalore-based UB Group may be famous for its core competencies of spirits, beer and aviation, its other businesses are also being aggressively being ramped up. The group recently entered apparel exports to add to its leather exports business. These are in addition to a sturdy fertiliser arm, an engineering construction firm and a property development business which is getting into building high-end apartments.

Most companies are under UB Holdings and its textile apparel export division, the newest constituent of UB Global's business portfolio, caters to many European brands such as Asda, Collins, George Lafuna and Next across the breadth of casual wear.

This diversification into apparel exports comes after a decade of exporting leather footwear, which has developed a portfolio of leathers comprising of nubucks, suedes, wrinkles, washes and other special finishes. This division counts global names like Geox, Esprit, Bugatti and Pavers England among its clients list.

The other interesting diversification this group is preparing for is of getting into the building of high-end apartments. The UB Group, which has literally changed the skyline of Bangalore with UB City on the land which once housed UB's brewery, is set to take up this activity in the same campus.

'Recent changes to zoning laws has made available additional floor space index, which will enable the construction of an additional 500,000 square feet at the site. It is planned to start construction of high-end residential apartments under the same joint development programme,' a statement from UB Group noted.

UB City -- built over 1.1 million square feet for mixed use development with commercial, luxury retail and serviced apartments besides housing UB's corporate headquarters -- has been leased out to various corporates. The luxury retail space has many luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Canali, Zegna and Daum.

While these couple of business lines are set to take off, the other businesses -- UB Engineering and Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilisers are chugging on at a respectable pace. According to UB Group, UB Engineering, which specialises in erection and installation of industrial plants, is targeting a 70 per cent growth during the current year. MCF, on the other hand, has said that the outlook for the year looks promising, after it registered sales and profit growth of 79 per cent and 43 per cent respectively in the first half of the current fiscal.

Raghuvir Badrinath in Chennai, Bangalore
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