Dear Colgate Shareholders
We are pleased to have delivered strong sales and profit growth in F.Y. 2017-18 despitea challenging macroeconomic environment and heightened competitive activity. Net Sales onan adjusted basis* for the year were 4159.4 crore an increase of 5.3% over theprevious year. Reported Net profit after tax for the year was 673.4 crore anincrease of 17% over the previous year. Excluding the impact of tax reversals andexceptional items Net profit after tax for F.Y. 2017-18 increased by 15% over theprevious year.
During the year we maintained our strong leadership position in both the toothpasteand toothbrush categories with volume market shares for the year at 53.4% and 44.8%respectively.
A core component of our commitment to maximizing shareholder value is maintaining ahealthy level of dividend payouts.
Considering the Company's surplus cash position and foreseeable capital requirementsin May 2018 your Board of Directors declared a special interim dividend of 11 persharebringingthetotal interim dividend for F.Y. 2017-18 to 24 pershare.
In 2017 for the seventh consecutive year Colgate again ranked as India's #1MostTrusted Brand in the Economic Times Brand Equity MostTrusted Brands Survey a consumersurvey conducted in collaboration with Nielsen.
While external conditions remained challenging F.Y. 2017-18 was a year of stronginvestment behind our brands and we deployed that investment sharply focused on ourlong-standing business strategies of Engaging to Build our Brands Innovation for GrowthEffectiveness and Efficiency and Leading to Win.
Strengthening Consumer Engagement To Drive Growth:
We are focused more than ever on strengthening consumer engagement to drive growth. Westrive to make our brands relatable and valuable to our consumers' lives through our brandcommunications.
Formanyyears we have been engaging consumers with the Colgate Scholarship Offer on thepacks of our flagship offering Colgate Strong Teeth toothpaste. This past year we havestrengthened this engagement by partnering with BYJU's the popular learning app. Inaddition to receiving a chance to win an education scholarship consumers received acoupon code for a free one-month subscription to BYJU's course materials. For consumerswho lacked access to a smartphone or tablet special audio lectures were also madeavailable.
This past year we also launched an innovative initiative to celebrate the legacy ofTamil poet -Thiruvalluvar. We introduced special-edition Colgate Active Salt toothpastepacks with Thirukkural inspired stories printed inside the carton.
Focused On Innovations:
We continue to focus on delivering innovation across our portfolio with particularfocus on the Naturals' segment. We launched Colgate Swarna Vedshakti which blendsthe goodness of Indian natural ingredients of Aloe Vera Clove Honey Tulsi Neem andAmla with Colgate's Oral Care expertise effectively delivering holistic Oral Care.
Based on the insight that today's millennial generation wants their personal items tobe distinctly reflective of their individuality we launched Colgate Neo toothbrush.Colgate Neo comes in premium packaging and is available in 6 exciting and differentiatinghandle-bristle colour combinations.
We also relaunched Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste with Cooling Crystals. The New XtraFresh MaxFresh gives intense cooling and super fresh ness like never before. Our MaxFreshBrand Ambassador Ranveer Singh remains the face of the brand to continue driving highlevels of relevance and engagement with younger consumers.
Living Our Values:
Guided by our values of Caring Continuous Improvement and Global Teamwork Colgatestrives to be a leader in caring for our society. As part of these efforts we continue toput a lot of focus on gender equality.
This year Colgate has partnered with Action Aid to support the education of girls.This program aims to make children from less privileged communities future-ready throughcomputer literacy training and spoken English classes.
In addition to our CSR programs we are pleased to have made significant progress ongender diversity over the past several years. Since 2014 we have achieved a 30% increasein the number of women employees in managerial roles. In 2017 women represented 43% ofour managerial hiring and 60% of our executive-level promotions.
In addition we recently welcomed Ms. Sukanya Kripalu to our Board of Directors. Ms.Kripalu who is one of the three independent women directors on our Board will be aninvaluable resource to Colgate with her many years of experience in the areas ofmarketing strategy advertising and market research. While we still have a lot more toachieve in the area of gender diversity we're confident that we're moving in the rightdirection.
For F.Y. 2018-19 we remain focused on investing in our brands and deliveringinnovative products to drive growth. Despite the highly competitive environment we areconfident that our proven strategies and talented workforce will continue to create valuefor our shareholders over the long-term.
I wish to thank all Colgate people for their personal commitment to achieving our goalswith the highest ethical standards and express appreciation for the support of ourcustomers suppliers shareholders and directors.
Colgate - Palmolive (India) Limited