I welcome this opportunity to share my thoughts about our business with ourstakeholders. The year gone by has been a very tough year for the NBFC sector in India. InFY2019 NBFCs faced big liquidity crunch due to repayment default by a AAA Rated IL&FSgroup. In the immediate aftermath of the
IL&FS default banks became more cautious and became wary on lending money toNBFCs. Even the Mutual funds which invested in NCDs and CP Paper of NBFCs came underregulatory glare and stopped the rollovers of debt as the instruments matured. Banks beingthe main source of borrowing for NBFCs it became very hard for NBFCs to borrow money evenat higher interest rates. This liquidity crunch increased their interest costs andimpacted their ability to disburse more loans and seriously impacted the profitability ofthe highly leveraged players in the housing finance space. Also the credibility ofratings given by Rating Agencies became questionable and created a huge mistrust in themarket forcing many NBFCs to unwind their balance sheets.
In such challenging times for the NBFC sector I am satisfied with the performance ofour company. Our revenue during the year grew by 44% to र59.70 Cr in FY2019 from र41.47 Crin FY2018. Our profitability also improved with our Profit after Tax increasing fromर18.07 Cr in FY2018 to र25.15 Cr in FY2019 a growth of 39%.
Though the SME Retail lending operations were started in the last quarter of the FY2016-17 we have done full-fledged SME retail lending during this year. The performancehas been encouraging. AUM in the SME segment grew substantially from र16 Cr in March 2018to र55Cr in March 2019. We have extended our presence to Delhi NCR Haryana PunjabUttrakhand Gujarat and Rajasthan. Our branch network has increased to 18 at the end ofyear 2019 from 12 at the end of 2018. We opened 6 new branches foraying into Gujarat with4 new branches. We are focused on giving Secured loans with over 92% of the loan bookcomprising of Secured Loans. Our focus is to grow
SME loans to less riskier segments like schools and educational institutions and aimto do this by following a Hub and Spoke (H&S) Model'. We are committed to ourstrategy of focusing on profitable growth and working towards making our branchesprofitable by increasing our operational efficiency and employee productivity.
While our Wholesale business performed well the growth was limited as we wereconstrained by our ability to borrow in this challenging environment.
In Wholesale Lending we have 3 products-Large Group Housing Projects LAP to corporateand education sector and Small Builders redevelopment financing. During the year weconsciously reduced our exposure in large group housing projects and LAP due to changingmarket environment. We are focussed on lending to small builders and our AUM grew in thatspace from र44.75 Cr from March 2018 to र80.42 Cr in March 2019. Our loan book in grouphousing and LAP has declined during the year and is expected to decline further. In smallbuilder loans we were present only in South Delhi market but during the year we expandedour presence to Delhi NCR and Gurugram (Gurgaon).
In the current environment many NBFCs are struggling with serious problems of badassets and high NPAs. At CSL we have tried to focus on asset quality and have notcompromised on our underwriting standards even if that meant losing business tocompetition. Our wholesale lending operations are 100% secured with LTVs of less than 50%.We closely monitor customers financials and actively work to resolve any delays inpayments. I am proud of the fact that the NPAs in wholesale lending operations remainedNIL. In SME segment 92% book is secured and we provide unsecured lending only to schooland educational institutions which have much more stable cash flows and are less risky.In our SME Retail lending book our endeavor is to maintain high asset quality and keepNPAs low. Our Net NPAs in the retail book are 0.58%.
We have credit rating of BBB from CARE and our CAR stand at robust 66% giving us enoughroom and capability to raise funds when the environment improves.
A big milestone for us was the successful implementation of loan origination packageFinOne Neo. We are using its reporting and analytics to fine-tune our operationalperformance. This has also helped us in establishing better control and processes withinthe company and has reduced our turnaround time significantly. Another big milestone wasthe shifting of our corporate office from Karol bagh in Delhi to a bigger office in NoidaU.P. to accommodate the growing team and providing top class infrastructure and bigger andbetter workplace to our employees..
Our net borrowing at the end of March 2019 stands at र121.94 Cr. Our asset liabilitymanagement position has been very comfortable throughout the year with the minimumleverage on our books. Further our net operational cash flows are much more than ourmonthly repayment obligations. So we do not expect any challenge in repayment of our debtobligation due to liquidity crunch in the industry.
We think the liquidity crunch in NBFC sector is transitory and we are very optimisticabout the growth in NBFC sector in the coming years. Going ahead our focus would be onbuilding our Retail SME loan book. We will expand our SME operations by following aHub and Spoke (H&S) Model' for even better penetration of our targetedgeographies in a cost-effective manner. In our wholesale operations we are intentionallyreducing our exposure to group housing projects and LAP projects. Our endeavour is toincrease small builder loan segment which is less risky due to high promoter equity inprojects and operating cycle of 12-18 months only. Our repayments from wholesale segmentare very robust and shall be used for funding SME growth and small builder's loan.
I would like to thank our employees for their contribution in the growth of thecompany. I also express my gratitude towards our shareholders and lenders who have shownfaith in CSL and continue to support us in this journey.