I am pleased to share with you that the Company has done well in 2018-19. Let me beginby briefly sharing the financial results both on standalone and consolidated basis.
Standalone total income (including other income) was stable at र 7919crores in 2018-19. Consolidated total income rose by 3.2% to र 10868 crores.
Standalone profit before tax (PBT) from continuing operations grew by 8.3% toर 1194 crore in 2018-19. Consolidated PBT increased by 26% to र 1571 crores.
Standalone profit after tax (PAT) for 2018-19 was up by 8.8% to र 937crores; while consolidated PAT grew by 22.8% to र 1198 crores.
These are good results especially for a mature and regulated business such aselectricity generation and distribution. I am happier still with two major operationalaspects.
The first has to do with serious on-going efficiency improvements in generation as wellas distribution. In 2018-19 both Budge Budge and Haldia the two key power generationplants for feeding Kolkata and Howrah continued to show industry-leading performance.Budge Budge achieved the fourth highest plant load factor among all thermal power plantsin the country; and Haldia was ranked 10th. I am proud to inform you that theCII-GodrejGreen Business Centre conferred upon Budge Budge the award of being an"Excellent Energy Efficient Unit in Power Sector' in 2018; and that Hadia receivedthe highest 'Platinum' award at the FICCI's 7th Quality System Excellence Awards in 2019.
There have been significant efficiency and productivity improvements in powerdistribution as well. As you know CESC's distribution infrastructure serves 3.3 millionlow-tension and high-tension customers across its licenced area. Distribution losses haveconsistently reduced and were less than 9% in 2018-19. This is among the very best in anymetropolitan area in India.
Over the last five years your Company has invested significant resources in upgradingthe distribution network and making it among the best-in-class. Here are just a fewexamples.
During 2018-19 some 1.2 lakh meters were installed on account of new suppliesand replacements. Of these around 12000 were smart meters.
We have commissioned self-healing networks for rapid restoration of power. Forour 33kV distribution sub-stations and low-tension changeover the auto-restoration timeis less than one second; and for our 6kV ring main units the auto-restoration time isless than 10 seconds.
We have used artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to developfault prediction tools for underground cables; and are conducting trials for the remotemonitoring of distribution equipment.
Second over the last several years we have consistently focused on customer needs.
We added around 78000 new customers in 2018-19. The average time to provide anew connection was 1-2 days. And for premises with an existing connection supplytypically starts within 24 hours of payment and compliance.
During 2018-19100% of the applications for new connections were received online itself a tribute to our e-services network.
By the end of 2018-19 some 45% of our low-tension customers were making onlinepayments which accounted for half the revenue.
Your Company's centralised 24x7 call centre is now the primary touch point forall complaints and queries. All calls are guided through an interactive voice recordingsystem docketed and then routed to the concerned department for rapid resolution.
CESC's 24x7 low-tension control room and use of radio-linked as well asGPS-enabled mobile service vans at strategic locations have helped in faster restorationof power supply.
In addition we have started using chatbots. One of these called 'eBuddy'provides interactive assistance to customers.
I would venture to say that your Company now provides best-in-class customer service toits consumers.
My additional sense of satisfaction comes from the awards that your Company has won inthe. course of its serving 3.3 million customers in Kolkata and Howrah as well as thoseelsewhere. The chapter on Management Discussion and Analysis lists some of these awardsfor 2018-19. I dare say that CESC has received some 100 national awards over the last fiveyears of service.
As you know your Company through its associate / subsidiaries have distributionventures in Uttar Pradesh (for Greater Noida) Rajasthan (for Kota Bharatpur and Bikaner)and most recently in Maharashtra (for Malegaon). It is too early to comment on Malegaon.I am happy to inform you that other distribution franchises are doing well bothoperationally and financially.
I am also proud of the people who run CESC. On a standalone basis your Company hasover 8400 employees on its payroll. They are all best-in-class and it is because of themand your Company's employee oriented work ethos that CESC has won several national awardsand recognitions for its employee friendly human resource practices.
Let me end with a concern. All power distribution companies operate under tightregulatory controls and CESC is no exception. Sometimes these controls are used to forcereductions in power tariffs or stringently limit rate increases. We need to be careful ofsome of these interventions especially of the more populist kind. For they can be akin tothrowing the baby out with the bathwater. This hasn't happened yet. But it is fair tounderscore it as a risk.
Thank you for your support to CESC. I on my part promise to deliver results that leadto satisfied consumers and hence contented shareholders.
17 May 2019