There is no greater motivation for us than the confidence you continue to repose in us.I would like to reiterate that in an increasingly uncertain global economic world wenever lose sight of the reason we are here: to serve our customers work with our partnersto offer best in class products help communities and of course to continuously repaythe trust that you our shareholders place in us.
Led by our long-term vision to become a global leader in the industry and guided by ourvalues we continued to implement our strategy of building scale across variousgeographies and increasing market share. Our clear focus on this strategy and thededication of our employees around the world were critical to delivering healthy profitsdespite a highly volatile and challenging business environment.
But this is the past and your company does not rest on its laurels! Presently we areat a stage where we are defining the future and will then build it on the strongfoundations of the past. Our globalisation journey continues as the Hungary Greenfieldplans are on schedule and we will roll out thefirsttyre in the last quarter of the currentfiscal. With the plant we will be able to serve the European market with a larger productportfolio. Our game plan for Europe includes increasing the dealer network and theacquisition of the Germany-based reifencom GmbH last year fits well into that strategy.The Indian economy continues to be shining star of the global economy. It closed theprevious fiscal year with a stellar 7.6% growth.
Corporate governance is an important pillar of the company. We have been adhering tocorporate governance best practices long before regulations forced other companies to doso. In this journey the company was honoured with a Certificate of Recognition forExcellence in Corporate Governance by the Institute of Company Secretaries ofIndia. To further strengthen this focus area we welcomed Shri Vinod Rai the formerComptroller and Auditor General of India to our Board of Directors.
While mapping the future is an easy thing achieving that future is what differentiatesthe Great and Good companies. I am reminded of Henry Fordsmantra of success when he mentioned "if everyone is moving forward together thensuccess takes care of itself." It is not an easy task if the company is a globalmulti-cultural company. With employees in the Hungarian plant and the new R&D centrein Germany we continue to add new cultures to the Apollo Family. Despite the diversity Iam proud to say that we have built an Apollo culture of taking on challenging tasks andmoving together to achieve the goals.
Today we are sitting on the cusp of great opportunity. Our domestic base of India ispredicted to continue to lead global economic growth for many years to come. We havecommitted ourselves to securing our leadership status in this vibrant and exciting market.In Europe our Hungarian plant will supplement the existing facility in Enschede and ourwidespread distribution network to give us better market penetration and profitability. Inkey emerging markets around the world whether it be the ASEAN region the Middle East orLatin America we have in place the building blocks to make significant inroads in thesemarkets. Our R&D teams continue to work of delivering newer and better products whichwill help us gain market share. Teams across functions are engaged day and night inraising the bar in delivering excellence to our customers so that we may live up to yourtrust in us.
Our achievements so far are a testimony to the brave and determined steps that we havetaken in the past. I feel enormously blessed to work for this company and with suchtalented employees. Our management team and employees have built an exceptionalorganisation and which is the one of the best places to work for. Unified by the coreApollo values which serves as a guiding beacon for all employees their dedicationfortitude and perseverance is making success possible. And this fills me with tremendouspride.
I am humbled with your continued support without which this journey would not have beenpossible. My sincere thanks to all the banks financial institutions and various State andNational Governments for their unstinted support.
Onkar S Kanwar
Chairman & Managing Director