With over 145 years of unparalleled experience in the Building Material IndustryHeidelbergCement Group is reckoned for its leading position in the Industry. We atHeidelbergCement India are proud of this global leadership status as it's highlyinspiring. The core values of the Group provide us the direction to maximise value for ourstakeholders. The uncompromising value system acts as a solid foundation making ussynonymous with quality reliability and integrity in the Indian Cement Sector.
Continuing our tradition once again we created new benchmarks be it financialperformance social responsibility governance or sustainability.
I am happy to inform that your company excelled across all frontiers to fortify itsfuture. To make you believe that the Company is "Future Fortified" I placebefore you the following numbers:
Highest ever Net Profit at Rs. 2206.6 Million up 65.7% over previous year
Highest ever EBITDA/Ton of Rs. 987 up 26.4% over previous year
Highest ever Sales Volume of 4.9 Million Tonnes up by 5.2 % over previous year
Achieved ~ 90% Capacity Utilisation against industry average of ~70%
Dividend increased by 60%. Rs. 4 per Equity Share (total Dividend includingProposed Final Dividend for FY19)
You would be happy to note that new milestones were achieved in production volume costoptimisation and consumption parameters. Despite steep rise in fuel prices nimble-footedadaptability of our operations team facilitated in altering the fuel mix and managed toabsorb these fluctuations. Logistics team pushed the pedal and improved the turnaroundtime of trucks thus shielding us from freight increases to a great extent. Going forwardyour company is in the process of further enhancing logistics efficiencies by deployingGPS capabilities and digitising the Fleet Management System.
Future Fortified we continue to synergise our strengths and set higher standards foroperational excellence to lead the next tech-wave in the Cement Industry throughautomation and digitisation. During the year we empowered our field sales team with realtime data using a digital mobile platform. The digital solution named "EMPOWER"has spearheaded our sales team by making available real time data including historicaldata. This platform is being loaded with additional features to take on board our customerservices team for capturing construction site data and address their queries on the spotwith follow-up flags.
Our steadfast commitment to CIP (Continuous Improvement Programme) has been a greatsuccess. It has triggered a culture of excellence across functions and is a compellingforce behind generation and implementation of many innovative solution s. Employees nowconsider CIP as an opportunity to showcase their potential through unique ideas. Therewards and recognition that follow thereafter have turned out to be great motivators. Iwould say - the seed for innovation culture has already germinated.
Money Machine and People are key elements for our business. Without people the othertwo would be of little use. We recognise this distinction and hence remain committedtowards the wellbeing of our people. I wish to place on record - the performance we aredelivering year after year has been possible due to the unrelenting commitment of ourpeople and the harmonious industrial relations in our company. A perfect orchestration bypeople from mines to market has produced a pleasant rhythm in the form of value for allstakeholders. Our HR team has succeeded in delivering a safe and empowering workplacewhich compels every employee to own their area of responsibility and collectively achievethe organisations goals.
Our slogan "Safety is our foremost priority" came to life as the yearrecorded Zero Fatality and Zero Lost Time Injury. I am proud to say that "SafetyCulture" has now become a way of life at HCIL and our ambition to achieve "ZeroHarm by 2020" would become a reality earlier than we thought.
Our CSR interventions touched the lives of hundreds of people dwelling in and aroundour plant locations. The human factor be it our employees or the communities dwellingaround us everyone deserves a respectable life. Believing in this philosophy yourCompany invested Rs. 29.2 Million to provide Education Healthcare and for RuralDevelopment. I thank our employees who volunteered and contributed their time and efforton some of the CSR projects undertaken during the year.
Ecology and Environment are the lenses we wear through which every action and decisionsare viewed under the light of sustainability. Despite shortfall in rains at our plantlocations the teams at HCIL still manged to make them net water positive. During theyear our Jhansi and Damoh Plants received the coveted GreenCo Gold Rating and GreenCoSilver Rating respectively. Our commitment to sustainability continues unrelenting. Thegrowing green cover at our plant locations has been heartening and is supporting ourtarget which aims to achieve by 2020 a two degree celsius lower ambient temperature in ourplants compared to the temperature prevailing a kilometre away.
Customer retention is a reflection of brand reputation. I am happy to inform you thatour sales team proved it - once our customer always our customer. Carrying the hallmarkof quality'mycem' and 'mycem Power' - our two brands - have become the preferred choiceof discerning customers and our products and services have become synonymous with'quality' and 'reliability'.
The year was dedicated as the "Year of Compliance Reassurance". Havingremained compliant all through it was time to recheck our systems and internal controlsonly to reassure ourselves of remaining compliant in the future too. Across all functionsindividuals and teams tested the adequacy and effectiveness of our checks and balances. Iam delighted to report that the outcome has reassured us about the existence of a strongcompliance culture in the organisation.
While the organisation's future stands fortified our Journey of excellence continues.The investments committed by the Government in infrastructure sector indicate a promisingfuture for our industry. With cement demand expected to grow @7% per annum in themedium-term the Industry's capacity utilisation is bound to improve.
On behalf of my team I reaffirm our commitment to create new benchmarks be itoperational and financial performance social responsibility governance orsustainability.
I thank the Board of Directors Top Management of HeidelbergCement Group for theirencouragement and unwavering vision for excellence. I feel privileged to be working with ateam of talented and highly committed employees and thank them for their magnificentcontributions including our Channel Partners and finally I express my sincere gratitude toall Investors for bestowing their trust in us and our principles.
Jamshed Naval Cooper