Today's business environment is characterised by increasingly high levels ofvolatility. It defines the new business as usual'. However having said thatthe Indian Government has done well to record a growth rate of 7.1 per cent during FY2016-17 when compared with other large economies in the world. The Government has beensteadfast in its desire to carry out reforms across various spheres. The rollout of theGoods and Services Tax (GST) is by far the most ambitious and path-breaking reform in therecent history of our country. One must also realise that such a massive initiative willhave short-term change issues to deal with but I am convinced that this reformsinglehandedly can take us into a significantly higher growth trajectory. The seriousnesswith which the Government is taking on the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) problem of theBanking industry is also commendable. This needed to happen and will ensure that over timegood companies will be able to access cheaper funds for growth.
Our actions in FY 2016-17 further strengthened our foundation amidst macro challenges
The Company performed well in FY 2016-17 which is largely due to our diversifiedbusiness model. It continues to remain one of our key strengths. Furthermore we ensuredthat we delivered on our profitability goals and made progress on our operationalefficiencies. I am pleased to inform that we maintained a robust profit after tax increaseof 20% when compared to the previous financial year and our revenues for the year remainedstable.
With an established presence of close to 50 years in the country and strengthenedcustomer intimacy programmes the Company continues to be a market leader across all itsbusiness segments.
Sustained investment in infrastructure innovation and human capital
Throughout FY 2016-17 our Board and management team were looking ahead acting onseveral fronts to ensure that SRF would not only address the current challenges but alsohave the foundation ready for continued success regardless of macro conditions.
In the past year we continued to consolidate our leadership position in ourFluorochemicals Business with a fifty percent plus market share on account of increasedvolumes and wider product offerings. We successfully developed inhouse HFC blendingcapability in record time and initiated the production of R 410 A and R 407 C providing aunique edge to us. We have become the first company in India to launch R 22 cans in theIndian market that are marketed under our brand name FLORON. We believe that this launchwill go a long way in ensuring genuine product usage in the market. Furthermore we havealso launched the FLORON brand in Thailand which is a promising market for us. Ourongoing investment in product development continues to drive strong near-term results forus in the refrigerant gases space and strengthens our position in the marketplace.
For our Specialty Chemicals Business sustainable growth is key and we aim to achievethat by focussing on innovations to build a strong pipeline for induction of new offeringsin both the agrochemical and pharmaceutical segments. As a valued partner to ourcustomers I am pleased to inform that we received the 2016 Supplier Award for HealthSafety and Environment from Syngenta and the 2017 Supplier Award for Sustainability fromBayer. These awards are an endorsement of our Customer First' strategy as wecontinue to make every possible attempt to lead the markets by listening to the needs ofour customers. While we remain very positive on the long-term potential of the Company'sSpecialty Chemicals Business to create tremendous value for our shareholders we expect FY2017-18 to be a slow growth year with agrochemicals remaining weak.
Our Packaging Films Business (PFB) which despite being a cyclical business continuesto make a healthy contribution to the Company's top line and the bottom line. Our PFBplants ran to full capacity utilisation despite an over-supply in the market.
In February 2017 PFB turned an important chapter in its journey with a new Bi-axiallyOriented Polyethylene Terephthalate (BOPET) Film Plant and Metalliser Plant going onstream ahead of schedule. This line is also the first phase of the new greenfieldPackaging Film facility in the Domestic Tariff Area Indore. The new manufacturing line isa part of the Company's overall strategy to grow and thrive - reinvesting incapacity-building delivering significant value for shareholders and matching precisecustomer requirements. We also continue to focus on increasing the share of innovativevalue-added products to the overall PFB portfolio.
With benchmark lowest cost structures in the industry and increased agility PFB willremain steadfast on its journey to deliver a superior Easy to Do Business With'experience for our valued customers.
Within the Technical Textiles Business the Nylon Tyre Cord Fabric business continuesto retain market leadership in an increasingly competitive environment. We continue tofocus on increasing cost efficiencies in this segment through a judicious management ofraw material and inventories. Similarly we continue to maintain a leadership position inother segments such as Coated Fabrics and retain price leadership in the Laminated Fabricssegment. In Belting Fabrics we have successfully increased our market share by deeperpenetration into Tier II players. In FY 2017-18 we will continue to deliver improvedproductivity and greater consistency to drive value for our stakeholders.
The growth of the Company is not possible without fully engaging the hearts minds andpassion of our employees.
SRF promotes an environment where creativity is nurtured and individual talents arerespected. As our organisation grows to better reflect the diverse nature of the marketswe serve we continue to build strong systems and infuse talent into our organisationboth in the areas of operations and R&D to help us in our growth path in the future. Iam also pleased to share that we have recently rolled out the SRF Aspirations - 2025company-wide striving to continuously be known and respected for our ProfessionalReputation and Value System Customer Advocacy Innovation and Technology Leadership andOperational Excellence.
Our commitment towards the communities where we operate also remained steadfast. Ourkey initiative of providing Quality Education to All' which is also one of thelargest community programmes imparting education and vocational training programmes tounderprivileged children and youth across the country was further strengthened during thepast year by improving infrastructure facilities in Government schools promotingcomputer-aided learning launching a mobile bus for digital inclusion of communitiesamong other initiatives. This has been the Company's humble way of making a small yetdeeply felt contribution to the cause that is important and vital to our society.
Strategic focus technology innovation customer focus and disciplined allocation ofcapital will guide our efforts in FY 2017-18 with an intended focus of further cementingour three strong independent industry-leading businesses.
We have high aspirations to grow improve our business reduce costs and generatesustainable profitable growth. Our focus for the year ahead is on positioning SRF tocontinue growing revenues earnings and cash flow as well as embrace the principles ofsustainability and environmental responsibility.
As we look to FY 2017-18 and beyond with confidence we express our appreciation andgratitude to our employees associates and shareholders.
Arun Bharat Ram