At the onset I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our frontline workerswhose untiring efforts at ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees andcommunities have allowed us to hold our heads high and continue our operations withoutdisruptions. Despite the challenges we have been able to create sustained value for ourstakeholders and as an industry frontrunner retain our leadership position throughimproved production cost and distribution efficiency and sustainability initiatives.
For the cement industry in general 2021 started on a robust note with strong signs ofdemand recovery. However the second wave of the pandemic disrupted the market led bylocalised lockdowns and a dampened consumer sentiment. Further the unprecedented hike infuel prices created cost pressures. Demand was particularly impacted during the fourthquarter of 2021 by unexpected rains in different parts of the country a ban onconstruction activities in the National Capital Region (NCR) and shortage of labour andsand.
Notwithstanding these challenges your Company reported one of the best performances inthe recent past registering substantial growth across both financial and non-financialmetrics. I join the Board in thanking the team for demonstrating resilience and agilityand delivering on our set objectives. We registered a volume growth of 17% year-on-year.We strengthened our revenues by 23% while EBITDA and profit after tax reported a growth of21% and 16% respectively over the previous year.
OUR MOMENT OF PRIDE
Equally noteworthy are the significant interventions made by the Ambuja CementFoundation (ACF) our CSR arm in tackling the fallout of the second wave on the healthinfrastructure and community well-being. Having meticulously mapped locations that saw asurge in cases and thereby areas which were in critical need of oxygen ACF went aboutmethodically to distribute oxygen concentrators and cylinders. Not stopping at that weset up oxygen plants at Dadri and Ambujanagar. ACF also trained community volunteers asCoviSainiks to provide help at hospitals and community clinics. We actively participatedin furthering the government's immunisation mission with ACF pitching in to helpvaccinate more than 2.7 million community members.
This was also a remarkable year in terms of our commitment towards creating asustainable future for all. Following the lead of the Holcim Group we developed and hadour 2030 carbon emission reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targetsinitiative (SBTi).
At Ambuja we have consistently aimed at including sustainability in all ouroperational and project planning. This year as well we continued to reduce our carbonfootprint by lowering the clinker factor reducing thermal and electrical energyintensity while implementing Waste Heat Recovery Systems at our plants and increasing ouruse of and capacity of generating renewable energy.
At the same time we remain committed to catering to the evolving requirements of ourcustomers enabling them to build more durable and sustainable structures with materialsthat are made sustainably.
OPPORTUNITIES AT HAND
We look at the future with un agging enthusiasm. India continues to remain thesecond-largest cement producer in the world. The industry offers significant headroom forgrowth aided by low per capita consumption and a massive government push forinfrastructure and affordable housing. The Union Budget 2022-23 saw a significant increasein proposed capital expenditure vindicating the government's sustained focus oninfrastructure. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana's target of 8 million houses by 2023 willfurther push cement demand. The recovery in the real estate sector backed by historicallylow interest rates also augurs well for the industry. Furthermore the e-commerce boomwhich is spurring demand for warehouse space data centres and energy storage systemswill attract more investment as they have been granted infrastructure status.
We are well-braced to meet the expanding demand. As part of our growth strategy we areinvesting in the cement grinding expansion plan of 7 MTPA across locations including in agreenfield project at Barh Bihar. This will help us move closer to our target ofachieving 50 MTPA capacity (presently at 31.45 MTPA) in the near future. Further we areincreasing our presence in existing and new markets through our strong distributionnetwork and dealer partnerships.
OUR FOCUS AREAS
We aim to grow sustainably and meaningfully. This year saw us launch our new strategyaligned with the Holcim Group's strategy of Accelerating Green Growth'. Our ownstrategy to expand market presence while being one of the most efficient cementmanufacturers with sustainability at the core of everything we do mirrors the Groupstrategy. Our belief that green growth is the only way to grow sustainably is not new.Environmental consciousness is good for both the planet and for business. Our ownexperience over the years has established this beyond doubt. Our sustainability vision hashad a direct beneficial impact on the bottom line helping the premiumisation of ouroffering and enhancement of our product mix with sustainably manufactured products.
We are consolidating our sustainability leadership by investing in our Plants ofTomorrow program that will accelerate our transition to digital plants. This path-breakingproject will lead to transformative outcomes not just in terms of operational andfinancial gains but also in making cement manufacturing in the country environmentallysustainable while creating a safe work environment for our colleagues across our plants.
OUR LARGER COMMITMENT
Since inception we have built trust in Brand Ambuja by ensuring consistency in qualityand reliability of service. This is perhaps the most valuable asset we have created overthe years and this is what we hold most dear to us. We pledge to strengthen this trust bynot only delivering on our promise of providing our customers innovative and sustainablebuilding solutions but also ensuring that the construction sector takes the lead inbuilding a stronger and greener India. Notwithstanding the temporary headwinds theindustry may face we are strongly committed to this goal. Together with ACC Limited wehave begun cleaning India's river waters of plastic. The coming days will see us exploresuch initiatives more through partnerships with like-minded institutions and individualswhile continuing to drive our CSR efforts towards promoting inclusive development.
On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to thank our stakeholders for theircontinued trust in us. We will continue to draw inspiration from your support to take onnew challenges.
|Warm regards |
|N S SEKHSARIA |
|Chairman and Principal Founder |