Astec continued on its journey of sustained growth during the FinancialYear 2018-19. Total Revenues grew by 16.64% from र 37895 Lakh during 2017-18 to र 44200 Lakh during 2018-19. Exports increased from 54.61% of Sales during 2017-18to 56.38% of Sales during 2018-19. Profit After Tax (PAT) improved by 2.05% from र3497 Lakh during 2017-18 to र 3569 Lakh during 2018-19. PAT growth did not keep upwith Revenue growth due to sudden changes in input costs in the last Quarter which wewere unable to pass on to our customers.
Problems in China continued due to strict environmental controlsintroduced by their Government in line with their blue skies' policy. This wascompounded by some major accidents that shut down several major industrial hubs in Chinaresulting in sharp and frequent increases in input costs which led to pressure on margin.However Western and Japanese customers continue their strategy to de-risk their supplychain from China and this will result in further increase in demand for our products.
Astec's increased capacities were essential to responding to theincreased demand for our products. Astec's long term relationships are key to gettinga significant share of the increased demand.
The Company's contract manufacturing business also performed welland we saw strong demand for our products. We also have several projects in the pipelinewhich will be rolled out over the next few years.
A new plant to manufacture the intermediates was commissioned during2018-19 and is performing as per expectations. This has led to improvement and stabilityin margins and less dependence on China.
We have also undertaken additional projects in this Financial Year tocater to new products and backward integration with a clear strategy to reduce ourdependence on China and to be a preferred partner for new products that our customersneed. We will also be installing and commissioning a new herbicide plant.
Our Research & Development (R&D) team continues to develop newproducts at a healthy pace. We will commercialize 2 (two) new products in the currentFinancial Year. We will also expand our R&D footprint during this year.
We are in the final stages of purchasing a new site for a major R&DCentre which will result in a quantum jump in our R&D capabilities. We hope tocommission this facility in the next 18 (eighteen) months.
Our Environment Health and Safety team continued its excellent work.Your Company received the prestigious Indian Chemical Council award for "Excellencein Management of Health and Safety".
Your Company's short term rating has been upgraded from"A1" to "A1+" and the long term rating from "A" to"AA-".
Our CSR activities continued in line with the Group's Good andGreen philosophy. We worked on projects in the area of education water and sanitation.Our programme to enhance rural livelihood of communities in the areas of our manufacturingplants yielded good results.
Finally I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all ouremployees for their contribution towards the performance of the Company. I alsoappreciate the support received from our customers suppliers various Governmentdepartments and gratefully acknowledge the continuous support of all our Shareholders.
Astec LifeSciences Limited