As your company is stepping into the tenth year since it became part of AkzoNobelGroup I think it is appropriate to take stock of our progress over the years.
The major development happened in 2012 where in a unique way of demonstrating itscommitment to India AkzoNobel had with your approval merged its wholly owned entitieswith your company to make it an integrated coating solutions provider. OneAkzoNobel' has since proved its power and edge in taking forward our mission to createeveryday essentials for our customers. With a simplified and customer-centricorganisation prudent cost management and emphasis on operational excellence your companyhas enhanced its profitability and earned the right to grow.
Winning together' has always been a key value that has enabled your company towin as a team by effectively sharing developing and using personal strengths. Yourcompany has been a fertile ground for breeding top-notch leadership talent with severalsenior leaders moving into larger global roles within AkzoNobel. This has indeed deepenedmy belief that in times to come your company will be seen even more as an employer ofchoice.
I would request you to recall a thought I had shared with you a few years back:
"In the life of an organization there are always moments which test its strengthand determination to grow. Such occasions call for two attributes:
One is the fortitude and long sightedness of those leading the organization.
And the other equally important element is the faith of those who have invested in theorganization and in the vision set out by its management."
Looking back at the performance of the company in the past 10 years one can derivegreat satisfaction that both the above attributes have been well-served in the case ofAkzo Nobel India as reflected from following achievements:
For the first time in its history your company has grown to cross the total revenuemark of H 3000 crore in a year with profit before tax exceeding H 330 crore.
Components of the PBT have changed over the years with the Business performancecontributing 90% of the PBT which is a significant change from where we were 5years back when the contribution was just 55%.
The Total Shareholder Return (Dividend + Capital appreciation) for the past 5 yearssince the merger (May 2012 to May 2017) is 140% compared to the NSE Nifty Index whichdelivered a growth of 70% during the same period.
The above achievements recapitulate your company's ability to deploy its resources in ajudicious manner to support growth while at the same time sharing the wealth with itsshareholders.
Further during these 10 years your company's environmental and community initiativeshave been taken to a higher level to help create a sustainable future.
Looking ahead India's long-term potential continues to be robust. We expect thepositive reforms from the government like the Goods and Services Tax predictability intax laws Make in India' campaign social sector investment on skill developmentetc will further propel the country's economic growth.
Having earned the right to grow' and comfortably placed in terms of resourcesduly supported by a conducive macro-economic environment the time is now ripe for yourcompany to consolidate the gains and move forward.
At this juncture with a great sense of satisfaction and a tinge of sadness I want toshare with you my desire to retire from the Board at the forthcoming Annual GeneralMeeting and not to seek re-election due to other commitments. The Board has chosen MrAmit Jain who has been a member of the Board since 2009 (including as Managing Directorduring 2009-2013) as the Chairman of the Company post my retirement. I am confident thatthe company is in safe hands with a competent and thoroughly professional Board andmanagement team which can take it to even greater heights on the platform built over theyears with your unfiinching encouragement and support.
I would like to thank all those who have been with us on this journey our valuedshareholders loyal customers banks supply chain partners and all other stakeholders for their support and faith which made this success possible.
Nihal Kaviratne CBE