It gives me great pleasure to share with you the performance of your Company for theFinancial Year 2017-18. During the Financial Year the industry witnessed atransformation in the business environment with the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax(GST). The introduction of GST led to a uniform and integrated tax system across thecountry creating One Market' that benefits both consumers and businesses. While GSTis a landmark reform its implementation posed several short-term challenges to theindustry creating a subdued trade sentiment. Your Company navigated through thismacroeconomic shift with agility. This is reflected in our strong performance during theFinancial Year. We delivered Sales of Rs.1677 crores up by 7% vs. a year ago on acomparable* basis and recorded a Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs.229 crores.
Our continued focus on strengthening business fundamentals and improving productivityenabled us to achieve sustainable growth during this challenging period.
The overall outlook for the FMCG industry continues to remain positive. We arewitnessing trends like increased disposable income increased consumer spending growingyouth population and increased rural consumption which will fuel the growth of the FMCGsector in years to come. In this dynamic environment your Company will continue to focuson sustainable balanced growth and create shareholder value.
Your Company strives to improve the lives of millions around us not just through ourproducts but also through our citizenship efforts. As one of the world's largest consumercompany we have a responsibility and an opportunity to make a difference. Our aspirationis to be a positive force for good and for growth across each area of our Citizenship work Community Impact Gender Equality and Environment Sustainability.
In the area of community impact our focus is to bring about a change through two maininitiatives our flagship CSR program P&G Shiksha and timely disasterrelief. Through P&G Shiksha we have supported over 1800 (+300 since last year)schools across the country that will impact the lives of over 1.4 million (+200000 sincelast year) children. In addition to our focus on infrastructure over the recent years wehave also identified and supported innovative learning to improve the learning outcomeslike remedial learning and computer-based adaptive learning.
On the environmental sustainability front we're making good progress as we are alreadyon our way to achieving several goals that we set for 2020. Looking ahead we haveestablished broad-reaching Ambition 2030 goals aimed at enabling positive impacts on theenvironment while creating value for consumers and shareholders.
Lastly I would also like to express my gratitude to all our consumers customersemployees business partners and YOU our valued shareholders for your support andparticipation in the growth of your Company. We are keenly focused on creating value forour stakeholders. We will continue to innovate and bring superior products to consumersand sustainably grow the business.
B. S. Mehta