India's economy is back on track with continued implementation of structural reformsthat aim to raise productivity and incentivise private investment. Last year witnessedsome turbulence on account of teething troubles over the implementation of the unifiedGoods and Services Tax that impacted the overall business sentiment in the country.However the economy has since rebounded.
In FY 2017-18 India grew by 6.7% with the GDP growth bouncing back to 7.7% in thelast quarter. According to the International Monetary Fund the country is expected togrow by 7.4% in FY 2018-19.
The Media and Entertainment industry grew faster than the economy by 13% in CY 2017over CY 2016. Print continued to account for the second largest share in the overallM&E industry. Within this regional languages especially Hindi remained thestand-out performer.
Our advertising revenues for the year remained soft amidst the headwinds of GSTimplementation and the lingering effects of demonetization. Although we believe both willbenefit the country in the long-term. Despite the tough environment our fundamentalsremained strong. We continued to increase our readership even as we focused on deliveringhigh-quality journalism to our readers and a relevant audience to our advertisers.
The Indian Readership Survey 2017 further confirmed the dominance of Hindustan in theindustry. Our flagship newspaper brand is the second largest across all languages inIndia reaching 5.24 crore readers across the country. It continues to be the No.1 Hindidaily in Bihar Jharkhand and Uttarakhand and a strong No.2 in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
During the year we undertook aggressive brand building activities focused onincreasing our readership base and strengthening our leadership position in the market. Wehave continuously evolved our brand and introduced innovative marketing initiatives toremain relevant and salient to both readers and advertisers. Our offline audienceengagement initiatives included a thought-leadership forum 'Hindustan Shikhar Samagam'and socially relevant efforts such as 'Hindustan Swachhata Abhiyan' and 'Hindustan Ratn'.We launched two new products viz. Hindustan Smart across 6 cities targeting pricesensitive customer base and Fursat a Sunday supplement for the entire family.
With an aim to increase our footprint across geographies we have undertaken multipleinitiatives. We have set up a new facility in
Purnia and procured a new printing line to expand our capacity in Patna. In the comingyear our focus will be on growth; we expect this to be supported by macroeconomictailwinds and the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2019. We will continue with ourefforts to enhance engagement with our audience and advertisers through socially relevantand impactful events.
We look forward to a great year ahead backed by the hard work of our employeescontinuous effort of our management trust of our shareholders and loyalty of our readers.Our commitment towards India and its citizens remains unwavering with sustained effortsto develop and strengthen
the Company's position not just as a leading print and media organization but also asa positive influence in collective nation-building efforts.