It gives me great pleasure to share with you the overall performance of our Company in2016-17. This year we took another step towards our goal of delivering strong resultsbehind sharper focus on winning with consumers customers and shareholders.
Sales were up 1% versus year ago while Profit After Tax grew by 27%. The resultswere strong in the context of market volatility and macro-economic challenges in thisFinancial Year. We are continuing to make progress to strengthen business fundamentalsimprove productivity and empower our organization and culture to deliver sustained strongperformance.
This Financial Year the Board of Directors declared a special interim dividend of Rs.154/- per Equity Share from accumulated surplus from profits of earlier years and thecurrent year to celebrate 30th anniversary of Make in India of its flagshipbrand Gillette. This takes Total Dividend for the Financial Year to be Rs. 164/-per Equity Share. The Company has consistently delivered balanced growth in recent yearsbehind strengthening brand fundamentals stronger product portfolio and improved in-storeexecution.
The economy is growing and with increase in disposable income and urbanization theoutlook for Consumer goods industry remains positive. We will continue to innovate so thatwe grow sales profit and cash more consistently and more sustainably.
As a responsible Company we also do right thing for the communities we operate in. P&GShiksha the Company's flagship CSR provides children from underprivileged backgroundswith an access to a holistic education. By the end of Financial Year 2016-17 P&GShiksha built and supported over 1500 (+500 since last year) schools across thecountry that will impact the lives of over 1.2 million (+200000 since last year)children.
Lastly I would also like to express my gratitude to all our consumers customersemployees business partners and YOU our valued shareholders. I look forward to yoursustained support and participation in the growth of our Company.
B. S. Mehta