The Indian economy has seen distinct signs of recovery in the last few months eventhough opinion on this is mixed. Trade deficit and the current account deficit have seen asubstantial improvement in FY2015 with the fall in global prices of key commodities likecrude and gold. India's Current Account Deficit (CAD) for FY2015 reduced to $27.5 billion(1.3% of GDP) from $32.4 billion (1.7% of GDP) in FY2014. The fiscal deficit was under4% for the first time in seven years in 2015 at 3.99%. This was lower than thegovernment's budgeted target of 4.1% and 4.5% recorded in FY2014.
A new phase of growth is expected for the Indian economy with the various stepsinitiated by the Government like reduction in subsidy burden on account of reduced crudecrude/commodity prices. This will leave more funds at the disposal of the Government forstrengthening the infrastructure of the country. The Government thrust on Make inIndia" to boost manufacturing and indigenization of defence manufacturingwill give aspurt to industrial growth. This is expected to improve the investment climate in thecountry.
I am happy to share that in FY 2014-15 all our businesses witnessed impressive growth.The Group's profits (EBITDA) on a consolidated basis increased by Rs.11713 lacs for theyear ended 30th June 2015 compared to Rs. 6025.13 lacs posted in the previous year. Suchan impressive jump in profits was possible due to significant improvement in totalrevenues and the Group's continued thrust on streamlining operating expenses which wasinitiated in the earlier financial years. We posted a big growth of 112 % in net profit atRs. 5301.32 lacs in FY2015 as compared to a net profit of Rs.2497.73 lacs in FY2014 .
The Centrum Group is at the forefront of the financial services industry in India. Itis our endeavor to build strong relationships and be the partner of choice for all ourstakeholders - corporates institutions HNIs employees and investors. As an integratedfinancial services Company Centrum specializes in equity debt infrastructure wealthmanagement fixed income foreign exchange margin funding and loans against securities.
CentrumDirect Limited consolidated its position as a market leader in the foreignexchange market and has emerged as the country's number one airport player. CentrumDirecthas got the distinction of winning the award for "Best foreign exchange company"at India travel Awards
Centrum Wealth Management Limited (CWML) gained recognition for the excellent PrivateWealth platform that it has built in a short span of three years. CWML won multiple awardsat various industry forums. CWML was awarded the Best Equities Fundamental Research awardat Zee Business's "India's Best Market Analyst Awards 2014". The awards werechosen through a nomination process followed by a detailed vetting by a high profile juryand audited by Ernst & Young.
In the Asiamoney Private Banking Poll 2015 Centrum Weatlh Management was rankedamongst the top three service providers in India in the Private Wealth business. In theCategory USD 5-25 million of household wealth CWML was ranked number one for (a) HolisticApproach to Addressing Advice and (b) Discretionary Portfolio Management. In the CategoryUSD 1-5 million of household wealth CWML was number one in (a) Client relationshipManagement & Servicing and (b) Technology and Support Infrastructure. In all the othercategories CWML was rated very highly.
Taking advantage of the improved sentiments in the capital markets our investmentbanking team has successfully structured a number of QIPs / IPOs. Our dedicated debt teamhas been quite active in the stressed asset resolution area by assisting a number ofstressed corporates through CDR OTS JLF and Bilateral restructuring etc in the lastcouple of years. This year too the team implemented deals in excess of Rs.50 billion(Rs.5000 crores) in the stressed asset segment.
During the year we continued to launch innovative structured products.
The positive change in sentiment in the domestic economy throws up excitingopportunities for both the financial services and wealth management businesses in thecountry in the medium term. The equity markets have seen a steady rise reaching all timehigh levels. The burgeoning Indian middle class rising income levels liberal policiesfor foreign capital inflows especially in the areas of FDI and attracting capital fromNRIs in the form of FCNR deposits etc augur well for the significant businesses in whichwe operate. Our core expertise dedicated and talented team and focused business approachwill enable us to make the best of the emerging opportunities and look at the future withoptimism and confidence.
I would like to end by expressing my gratitude to all our clients employeesinvestors and shareholders - for the trust they have reposed in us. I would especiallylike to thank our Board members for their guidance throughout our journey.
We look forward to your continued support in our journey to create long term value forall our stakeholders.