It gives me immense pleasure to present to you the FY 2018-19 Annual Report ofour Company. While every business year has its own highs and lows the success of aCompany in the longer run depends on its ability to innovate to meet the evolving needs ofcustomers and remain competitive. I am happy to state that throughout our history despitechanging market dynamics we have remained true to this philosophy evolving into aleading player in the Indian ceramic industry. Today we are a premier provider ofworld-class wall and floor solutions which make way into beautiful homes and spaces andenrich peoples' lives.
Let me now give you a brief update on the performance of our Company for the year underreview before reflecting upon what the future holds in store for us.
FY 2018-19 was a challenging year for the ceramic tiles industry. On one hand risinggas prices along with significant manpower addition surged the input costs. On the otherhand overcapacity in the segment and hurdles in implementation of E-way bill contributedto pricing pressure. Naturally our performance especially the margins were adverselyaffected by these market developments.
On the positive side despite the lower realisation our topline grew by 3% to ? 1187Crores indicating the demand for our products remains intact. We have also witnessed ahealthy growth in the Marble and Quartz business. Our focus on growing B2C segmentcontinues to be on track with its contribution to total revenues during the yearincreasing to 39%.
Despite these issues we remain confident about the year ahead on the back offavourable policy reforms and improved demand outlook. The recent National Green Tribunaldirective for shutting down the polluting coal-based ceramic units in Gujarat steadyresolution of E-way bill and standardisation of gas procurement will create alevel-playing field for the organised players and propel their market share. AmbitiousGovernment schemes likes Smart Cities and Housing for All along with downward revision inreal estate GST rates and thrust on infrastructure development among others are expectedto stimulate demand for housing. The country's favourable demographics rising disposableincomes emerging nuclear families enhanced aspirations for new styles and aestheticswill further accelerate premiumisation of products.
To capitalise on the mega opportunities ahead we have taken a series of initiatives.One of the major decisions was to appoint dedicated heads for each business verticalcompared to CEO overlooking the entire operations earlier to have sharper focus onstrategy execution. We are already beginning to witness its impact with improvedperformance towards the end of the year and faster decision-making.
We are endeavouring to strengthen our portfolio of value-added products such as GVTtiles Marble and Quartz to optimise mix and enhance margins. This is backed by ourjudicious investments towards capacity expansion in value added products and research anddevelopment to introduce more innovative and path-breaking designs.
B2C will be an important growth and margin driver for us. We are intensifying ourefforts to expand our foothold in the segment to deepen customer engagement. Towards thiswe have stepped up our marketing and brand-building investments to augment our brandvisibility. Supporting this will be our continuous investments in bolstering distributionnetwork. During FY 2018-19 we have expanded our network to 6500+ touch points including289+ Exclusive Showrooms 13 Display Centres and 1300+ Dealers across the country andare focussed on further strengthening it.
In another strategic move inspired by our vision of offering innovative lifestylesolutions to beautify lives we have forayed into sanitaryware segment to provide completebathroom solutions. Currently we have planned to start with a portfolio of 160 SKUsacross wash basins water closets and urinals in an asset-light manner by sourcinghigh-quality products domestically and internationally. Our strong tiles distributionnetwork will be a key to gaining market traction. Our intent is to commence manufacturingonce desired volume is achieved.
Our Company is the fifth-largest exporter in the Indian ceramic industry. We are noweyeing newer international markets to further expand our export base. The recentimposition of anti-dumping duty on China by the US will catalyse our international growthstory.
Overall I am quite optimistic. All the indications and efforts point to a promisingfuture ahead. We are perfectly positioned to capture the growing opportunities and expandour margins and profitability while at the same time enhancing lives of millions ofpeople across the world.
In our journey of nearly two decades we have been ably supported by our dynamicemployees who have been the key drivers of our success. On behalf of the Board I wouldlike to sincerely thank our shareholders our customers our employees and our businesspartners for their persistent support and confidence in us.
We are excited about the tremendous opportunities ahead and are making rapid strides tomeet our future ambitions.
Chairman and Managing Director