This is my first letter to all our esteemed shareholders as Chairman of the Board ofDirectors of Dabur India Ltd. I am honoured and humbled as I write to you at the end ofanother eventful year in the history of Dabur. During the year 2018-19 your Companydelivered a good performance with double-digit growth in its revenue while increasing itsmarket share in highly competitive product categories.
The year would also go down in Dabur's corporate history as one of transition with Mr.Sunil Duggal stepping down as CEO of the company after a highly successful tenure of morethan 17 years. It would probably be one of the smoothest transitions ever witnessed in thehistory of Corporate India with Mr. Duggal handing over the baton to successor Mr. MohitMalhotra who has been a part of the Dabur family for over two decades now.
It was a proud moment for me personally to see a home-grown young leader take charge atthe helm of the company at the end of a structured succession planning process. This givesfurther credence to our commitment to professional management and adherence to the highestcorporate governance standards.
On the business front we successfully navigated a rapidly changing regulatorylandscape and intense competition in India besides severe geopolitical headwinds andcurrency devaluations in parts of our international business. Despite these challenges wesucceeded in delivering a strong operating performance.
During the year under review our Consolidated Revenue grew by 11% to ^ 8533 Crorefrom ^ 7748 Crore in the previous year while Profit After Tax was up 6.5% to Rs. 1442Crore. We invested strongly behind our business infrastructure to drive strong revenuegrowth due to which our operating costs were a tad higher during the year.
The year also saw Dabur enhance its distribution footprint to 6.7 million retailoutlets across the country with direct retail coverage increasing to 1.1 million. Directcoverage indicates the retail outlets which are serviced through our own network of salespersonnel and distributors. The Company also expanded its presence through newerdistribution channels such as Modern Trade and E-commerce. We consolidated our rural reachby strengthening the front-end teams and super-stockist and sub-stockist network. The yearalso marked the implementation of Project Lakshya an initiative aimed at improving ourvalue chain and front-end efficiencies in addition to making our supply chain futureready.
Ayurveda and Nature continue to be game changers in the consumer goods space occupyingprime space in the consumer's minds. As the pioneer of Ayurveda-based consumer productsDabur continues to innovate and improvise the product offerings to delight our consumersacross generations.
To further enhance engagement in this space we pioneered the concept ofSamvaad' a forum to discuss Ayurvedic products processes and new developments inthis field. The company organised a number of Health Camps and participated in DoctorMeets to display the efficacy ofour products. We have also made rapid strides in ourmission to not just protect but augment the population of rare herbs and medicinal plantsthrough sustainable cultivation. Under our biodiversity initiative we distributed nearly17.50 lakh saplings of medicinal herbs free of cost to farmers across the countryencouraging them to take up cultivation of herbs as an additional income generationactivity. Today we have over 6100 acres of land under cultivation of rare herbs andmedicinal plants in India and Nepal.
Dabur has also been taking the lead in Plastic Waste Management as part of our missionto protect the environment and leave a greener planet for future generations. During theyear 2018-19 Dabur has collected and recycled/processed near 4000 MT of post-consumerplastic waste which is around 20% of our plastic waste generation. This initiative whichwas rolled out in six states during the year is now being extended to cover 25 statesacross India and our endeavor is to recycle and treat hundred percent of the post usageplastic waste. This signifies our commitment to reducing the impact of our business onenvironment and be a responsible corporate citizen.
The Company also continues to make efforts to improve the lives ofthe communitiesaround us by supporting education sanitation and health care through our communityoutreach programmes.
As we move forward we will continue to focus on building brands and meet theever-changing needs of our consumers with innovative and relevant product offerings. Wealso remain committed in our endeavour to further strengthen the Company's financialposition while continuing to make strategic investments to enhance our market leadership.
It is my honour and privilege to be at the helm as the Chairman of the Company and Iwill do my utmost to live up to the responsibilities that come with this role. Lookingforward to fiscal 2020 on a note of optimism I would like to thank our nearly 7500employees worldwide for their sincere efforts and contribution to the growth and successof the company.
I would also like to thank our suppliers consumers distributors partners and aboveall our shareholders for their continuing faith and confidence in the company. We valueyour trust in our company and your confidence in our leadership to set a solid stablecourse for the future. Dabur is all set for an exciting future with a clear vision tocreate value for our consumers shareholders and investors.
Mr. Amit Burman