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Alsa Marine & Harvests Ltd.

BSE: 523447 Sector: Others
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Alsa Marine & Harvests Ltd. (ALSAMARINE) - Chairman Speech

Company chairman speech

1995 ALSA MARINE AND HARVESTS LIMITED CHAIRMAN'S SPEECH Ladies & gentlemen, I have great pleasure in welcoming you all to this Sixth Annual General Meeting of your Company. The Directors' Report and the Audited accounts for the year ended 31st March, 1995 have been with you for some time and with your permission, I shall take them as read. MARINE PRODUCTS INDUSTRY The marine products industry, which was making rapid strides during the last few years, was affected by an outbreak of disease in the aquaculture sector in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu. As I had cautioned in my speech in our last meeting, the problem was due to lack of a well structured national policy in the development of aquaculture in this country While the actual causes for the disease are being widely debated, the problem has been broadly attributed to the "white-spot syndrome". A national aquaculture policy which includes pollution and environment control has now been framed Various Government and other research institutions have been studying this problem closely and it is hoped that the recurrence of such a disease would be controlled. During the last year, the marine products industry has earned a foreign exchange of Rs. 3,400 crores Sea catch being a major constituent, export of products other than shrimps viz, cuttle fish, squids, crabs, lobsters and other fishes formed a significant portion. Exports of a wider product range will continue to increase With a shift in emphasis to more value added products coupled with increased exports of non-shrimp products, the marine products exports are expected to touch Rs. 10,000 crores by the turn of this century. This will substantially increase India's share in the global market. The Export Policy has been progressively encouraging. The marine products industry has, however, not been given the necessary impetus, both in terms of incentives and recognition Major benefits forming part of the Advance Licence Scheme which have been structured to reach the exporting community, have not really benefitted this industry as compared to other industries, whose net foreign exchange earnings are much lesser. We urge the Government to correct this anomaly expeditiously. The lure of tax benefits under Section 80 HHC has drawn corporates including multinationals with high taxable income and export commitments under the Exim Policy to enter the scene. Being none too familiar with the nuances of the trade and profit motive taking a back seat, such an entry could expose the industry to adverse situations in a stabilised and well organised raw material segment and also the international market I am confident that the Government with a pragmatic and open-minded approach, would effectively curb such misapplication of legal provisions and ensure that the objective of supporting the export community is rightly achieved. The unfortunate happenings in the aquaculture industry, have had a positive impact on the die-hard entrepreneurs, who have hitherto been unaware of the repercussions of improper environmental control in their urge to capitalise on the boom in the industry Implementation of corrective measures in aquaculture being now effected, will have a positive impact on cultured product availability and a consequent curb on the depletion of ocean resources. Quality, which had been relegated to the background, has rightly returned to the forefront. Today the entrepreneur has made quality of his product a high point on his business agenda. This change of attitude in the present day economic scenario could take the industry to greater heights. Viewed in the right perspective, the magnitude of the recent happenings has resulted in the industry pursuing a relentless search for better, faster and long-term economic solutions to the problems currently faced. Your Company will always strive to remain a torchbearer with its far sighted and professional approach. ALSA'S PERFORMANCE Your Company has once again demonstrated the importance of building up credibility and goodwill in a demanding market. This has considerably helped your Company to place its products on the shelf for the consumers in Europe and Japan. Your Company has been innovative in developing the widest product range in the industry. Significant marketing tie-ups have been established by your Company with leading importers in U.S.A. and Europe Alsa Marine is also the leading seafood exporter to the U.S. Your Company has recorded a growth in sales and profitability despite adverse conditions. Though your Company fell short of its projections, it has been able to maintain an increase in turnover and profitability, primarily due to a wider product base, higher capacity utilisation, alongwith improved operational efficiency and effective controls. Your Company has by deliberate strategy, kept its dependence on aquaculture at a considerably low level Aquaculture contributed to 17% of our total production of 5,317 Tons - only 3% from our own farm at Nellore and 14% from other farms in various parts of the country. Alsa Marine's production consists of about 51% of shrimps and the rest comprising of other marine products. These factors have substantially reduced the negative impact of disease on the performance of your Company as compared to what has happened generally in the industry. As shareholders, you will be happy to note that your Company has achieved the turnover and profitability on a comparatively low equity base, thereby retaining a healthy Earnings Per Share. Rapid strides have been made in our endeavour towards globalisation Alsa Europe has achieved an encouraging performance with a turnover of Rs. 42.71 crores in its first full year of operations. The Company has moved towards its objectives, with a good volume of off-shore trading of not only seafood but also a significant quantity of fruits. In the years to come, its trading activity in other products is expected to increase manifold. Your Company's joint venture in Dubai, Alsa Target, has commenced production. Its factory, as widely acknowledged, is comparable to the best in Europe and U.S.A. The cooked, ready-to-eat product from this factory commands a good premium. You will recall, in my last report I had mentioned that "these overseas ventures will be harbingers in a larger scheme of globalisation" and it is proving to be so. This has and will continue to give strength to your Company to widen its horizon in the scheme of globalisation. PROSPECTS Your Company with its rich experience and understanding of the trade, borne out by its extensive network of integrated operations within and outside India, has embarked on a modernisation-cum-expansion project dealt with adequately in the Directors' Report. This, together with our emphasis on quality standards and research and development will enable us to keep ahead of the others in the industry. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT On behalf of the Board of Directors and on my own behalf, I take this opportunity to thank our Bankers, financial institutions, Government agencies and also the organisations we deal with worldwide and all the shareholders, for the co-operation and assistance extended to your Company, which have helped us perform creditably. I would like to express my appreciation to all the employees for their sincere and unstinted efforts, which has made it possible for your Company in turning out an impressive performance. Thank you. Mr. Altaf pasha Chairman Place : Madras Date : 21st September, 1995