It is my honor and privilege to present before you the 24th annual report of theCompany.
Making the markets available to more and more Indians is the driving force of Geojit.Our aim is not just about giving people access to the markets. It's about helping them tounderstand the markets better and enabling them to make confident decisions that addgreater value to their financial matters. It is this focus on customer-centricity that hashelped us deliver spectacular results making 2017 an exceptional year for the Companyits shareholders and clients.
Almost a decade since the financial crisis which sparked global economic decline 2017saw the global growth come back with a bang. Global stock markets roared ahead with theMSCI index of stock markets in 47 countries up by 22%. Progress of Brexit talks Trump taxcuts fears of war in North Korea upheaval in Europe and bitcoin bubble failed to dampenthe spirits.
2017 was also a spectacular year for emerging markets and India was a huge beneficiaryof this trend. Indian markets have rallied to be one of the top performing ones in theworld. India's benchmark S&P BSE Sensex earned 35% return in dollar terms in 2017 itsbest since 2009. The reasons were mainly - easy availability of money globally burgeoningdomestic flows improving economic fundamentals the Government's strong resolve andmomentum in implementing structural reforms signs of a reversal in corporate earnings andconsumer-driven credit growth.
The year 2017 will also be remembered for the implementation of GST Insolvency andBankruptcy Code and announcement of bank recapitalization. It also witnessed significantsteps being taken towards the resolution of problems associated with non-performing assetsof the banks and further liberalization of FDI.
These reforms will have a long-lasting impact on the Indian economy. Formalization ofeconomy rapid digitization Government incentives regulatory initiatives and adeliberate push for improving investor education have been the key factors drivingfinancialization of savings.
Domestic flows have been on the higher side given the trend of financialization ofsavings in India and this will keep the equity markets afloat with ample liquidity.Household savings in shares and debentures are also on the rise and this may be aconsequence of low returns on physical assets. The big jump has been in mutual funds asgrowth of savings in mutual funds registered a phenomenal increase. Mutual Fund Assetsunder Management nearly doubled in three years' time to over Rs 21 lakh crore as on March2018.
Technology has now become an integral part of the financial services industry and isused widely in each and every aspect - from fund management to transaction processing.
Against this exciting backdrop let me take you through the key developments of theCompany:
The strategic realignment we undertook in 2016 is clearly getting us traction. Bylaying equal emphasis on marketing and distribution of Mutual Fund and Mutual Funds SIPswe have not only broadened our business horizon we are also in line with our thrusttowards creating investor wealth. Our total MF distribution income grew substantiallyvalidating our efforts and commitment being a customer-centric financial servicesintermediary.
Geojit has re-entered the commodity futures broking business after 10 years as theclause which prevented the Company from engaging in commodity brokerage has been removed.We received trading cum clearing membership from MCX India NCDEX and NMCE for commoditiesderivatives broking. We believe there is a strong correlation between currency andcommodity derivative which we plan to leverage through our single platform. With theacquisition of client base of Geofin Comtrade Limited the Company has added anotherpromising business line and will leverage its existing business infrastructure.
Looking beyond the numbers you can see our success reflected in our strong consumerbrand value that appeals to clients and prospects. Towards the end of 2017 we launchedmajor branding and advertising campaigns. This has significantly increased our consumermindshare and played a role in increasing our clientbase. The success of this advertisingcampaign has prompted us to continue investing in brand building campaigns for over thenext few years.
Our Mutual Funds distribution business continues to grow impressively. On a standalonebasis our total AUM (Mutual Funds) stood at Rs 3431 crore as on 31stMarch 2018 compared to Rs 2180 crore as on 31st March 2017 indicating a riseof 57%. Our SIP book has also increased from Rs 76 crore as on 31st March 2017to Rs 143 crore as on 31st March 2018. This robust performance is driven by thestrong brand equity of the Geojit brand especially in South India where the Companyenjoys a widespread customer base.
Today financial products and services are not available in all parts of the countryand we believe they should be available even in smaller cities. An integral part of ourexpansion plan is to increase our footprint in the B15 cities. B15 cities are citiesbeyond the top 15 cities where the Government encourages financial intermediaries toexpand as part of the larger financial inclusion agenda.
When it comes to empowering clients through online platforms our subsidiary GeojitTechnologies has played an instrumental role. We have successfully launched the GeojitOnline Financial Planner a user-friendlyplatformthatallowsclientstodocomprehensivefinancial planning and Funds Genie an innovative application for mutual fundsinvestment. With these we are able to provide enriched user experience to our clients.Digitization has improved our distribution efficiencies use of Aadhaar for e-KYC hasproved to be a game changer ensuring instant on-boarding and it also enables seamlesstracking and transaction of MF investments through mobile and online apps.
Driven by our clearly crafted strategy our financial performance for the year wasexceptional. Not only did our MF distribution income increase by 92% our brokerage incomealso increased by 18% on the back of bullish stock markets and increased participation byretail investors. The combined effect meant a 20% increase in consolidated Total Incomewhich grew from Rs 305.76 crore in FY2017 to Rs 367.95 crore in FY2018. With operationalefficiencies our Profit After Tax on a consolidated basis improved by 31% rising to Rs73 crore in FY2018 from Rs 56 crore in FY2017. The Board has recommended a dividend of Rs2 per share on the paid-up value of Rs 1 per share which is 200% for FY 2017-18.
Our focus will be to provide long-term investing solutions customized around investorneeds through Geojit Online Financial Planning and Funds Genie our advice-embedded onlineinvestment solutions. We will also continue to give attention to our personalizedPortfolio Management Services commodity and equity business thus creating wealth for ourdiverse clientele.
We've set the bar high but the future is bright and thanks to your continued supporttogether we will make it a success.