This is my first message to you after taking over as Executive Chairman of the CentrumGroup. After having spent over three decades in the Banking industry I am excited to takethis first step in an entrepreneurial role and am looking forward to scale up theorganization to greater heights. As an individual I have been tracking the Groupsachievements operations developments closely for sometime now and I sincerely believethat we have an impeccable reputation unflinching commitment to values profitable growthtrack record large client base and with a national presence we are poised to growtremendously. I look forward to working closely with the proven executive team and Mr.Chandir Gidwani Chairman Emeritus of the Centrum Group who is responsible for the growthof the organization thus far and will continue to guide us going forward as well.
The Indian Economy is poised for significant growth and the opportunity that lies aheadfor an organization like ours is tremendous. India is currently one of the fastest growingeconomies in the world and is expected to continue growing between 7-7.75% in FY 2016-17despite headwinds arising from global uncertainties. The improvement in Indiaseconomic fundamentals has accelerated due to the combined impact of strong governmentreforms RBIs stringent focus on keeping inflation under check and benign globalcommodity prices. The steps taken by the Government and unique initiatives such asMake in India Digital India Housing for All andSkill India have given the economy a major boost as our Gross Domestic Product(GDP) at factor cost at constant (2011-12) prices 2015-16 is Rs 113.5 trillion (US$ 1.668trillion) as against Rs 105.5 trillion (US$ 1.55 trillion) in 2014-15 registering agrowth rate of 7.6 per cent. Gross FDI inflows which account for 16.5% of total funds tothe commercial sector have risen significantly to US$55bn (in CY2015) or 2.7% of GDP thehighest since February 2009. Foreign exchange reserves stood at US$360 billion in March2016 as compared to US$342 billion in March 2015 once again a record high. All this hasbeen possible in spite of two consecutive poor monsoons and volatility in the globalmarkets. The Government is living up to its commitment of increasing FDI for enhancing theinfrastructure of the country. I am pleased that a record allocation of Rs 221000 crorehas been earmarked for the infrastructure sector. The roads sector alone has beenallocated Rs 97000 crore as the government plans to award 10000 kilometres of new roadprojects in FY17 which includes Rs 19000 crore earmarked for rural roads.
These are truly exciting times for all of us and as an organization we must fullyleverage the opportunity to the maximum. Looking back at FY 2015-16 I am happy to sharethat all our businesses have demonstrated steady growth and several new initiatives havebeen taken by all the verticals. On a consolidated basis the Groups profit (EBITDA)for the FYE 31st March 2016 (9 months) was Rs 8184. 44 lacs as compared to Rs 11713.13lacs in the previous year (12 months). The net profit on a consolidated basis was steadyat Rs 3123.18 lacs in FY2016 as compared to a net profit of Rs 5301.32 lacs in FY2015.Since the Financial year 2015-16 was of nine months only the figures are not comparablewith the previous year figures.
CentrumDirect Limited specializes in travel related foreign exchange services and isour largest revenue generator. In FY 2015-16 the company bagged exclusive rights tooperate money exchange counters at Vishakapatnam Nagpur & Patna Airports and is alsoin the process of commencing its operations at Jaipur Airport. This makes us TheLargest Foreign Exchange Provider at Airports across India. Currently we operatemoney exchange counters at 14 airports in India.
Centrum Wealth Management Limited (CWML) too expanded its operations with the launch ofits family office advisory services and has also set up base for introducing its ownVenture Capital Fund Kalpavriksh which will focus on investing in Entrepreneurialventures in India. CWML once again reigned supreme at the Annual Asiamoney PrivateBanking Poll and was adjudged The Best Domestic Private Bank 2016 inIndia. Such recognitions by globally renowned organisations are a true testament to ourcommitment in providing our clients with superior services.
Centrum Broking Limited (CBL) continued to expand by empanelling new franchisees andalso strengthened its sales and research team.
Taking advantage of the improved sentiments in the primary 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 (Rs5000 crores) in the stressed asset segment.
FY 2015-16 saw the introduction of several new businesses. We have commenced operationsin the Insurance business wherein we will seek to deliver complete end to end insurancesolutions and cater to Corporates as well as retail. We have also forayed into the HousingFinance Business. Currently we have applied for a license with NHB and hope to commenceoperations soon. We have also built a stable platform for introducing Loans againstSecurities (LAS) which has already gained significant momentum.
The economy is currently at a stage where a slight pickup in demand can lead to asignificant improvement in growth. As I mentioned earlier the opportunity is out therefor us to grab. As an organisation we have set ambitious yet realistic plans for each ofour businesses and I am optimistic that we will achieve all our goals.
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 wouldespecially like to thank our Board members for their guidance throughout our journey. Welook forward to your continued support in our journey to create long term value for allour stakeholders.
Jaspal Singh Bindra