Welcome to the 96th Annual General Meeting of your Company. Ingersoll Randcontinued to lead a successful year by creating lasting value for its people customersshareholders and the society against the backdrop of volatile market trends and industryreforms. On behalf of the Board of Directors I am pleased to share with you a milestonemoment in the Company's history. Ingersoll Rand India went public in 1977 and 2017 marksthe completion of 40 years of equity listing in the country. Your unstinted support andfaith in us have played a pivotal role in making our journey one of sustained success.
2017 was marked with key economic reforms by the Government of India. In July 2017 theIndian economy witnessed the launch of the transformational Goods and Services Tax (GST).While a game changer the teething problems gave rise to a climate of uncertainty. Addedto this sharp falls in certain food prices that impacted agricultural incomes further ledto a downswing of the macroeconomic development in the first half of 2017.
However conducive government policies reform initiatives and corrective measures ledto robust signs of revival in the economy in the second half of the year. India jumped 30spots on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings while the foreign directinvestment (FDI) saw an increase in flow by 20%.
While cumulative industrial growth for the first eleven months dipped marginally from4.6% in the previous year to 4.2% this year both consumption and investment picked uppace. This was reflected in the strong and steady increase in industrial productionbetween November 2017 and January 2018. While overall the industrial production was downfrom last year there was a remarkable surge in petroleum and cement and an improvement insteel power and coal output. It is encouraging to note that the CM Business ConfidenceIndex (CM- BCI) continues to reflect optimism in the business environment. Even the globaleconomy looks upbeat with a positive growth forecast in GDP.
You will be pleased to know that we have sustained our progress this year too bywinning over challenges and strengthening our market leadership position. By truly caringabout and focusing on our customers we are redefining reliability in business.
Through energy efficient solutions operations excellence and innovation weconsistently deliver reliable results for our clients partners communities and ourenvironment.
We remain committed to maximize the enduring value and returns to our esteemedshareholders.
In the current environment of strong business confidence we are positioned to continuethe momentum forge stronger relationships with our stakeholders and further solidify ourposition in the market.
For the year ending March 31 2018 we recorded revenues of Rs. 614.8 crores fromcontinuing operations (excluding excise duty) which was 0.9% below compared to that ofprevious financial year owing to reduction in exports revenue even though revenue fromdomestic customers registered a growth of 4%. Our profits after tax for the year endingMarch 31 2018 stood at Rs. 89 crores which was 17% higher compared to profit after tax ofprevious financial year.
In our continued endeavor to provide customers with innovative and superior productswe introduced new models to our line of next-generation air compressors. These models aresolutions towards more energy-efficient and high-capacity air requirements. With theaddition of these models we continue to push the edge of innovation to help our customersachieve real business results including cost reductions and lower total cost ofownership.
We've also continued to succeed profitably and grow our market share with increasedpresence in our focus verticals. Our Services portfolio delivered a profitable toplinegrowth with healthy margins driven by strategic customer-focused initiatives.
Continuing the tradition every year to cement stronger partnerships we organized asuccessful annual Channel Meet for Direct and Distribution channels. The theme for theevent this year was 'The Big Leap' that was built around the pillars of effectiveness andempowerment. Further we leveraged key industry seminars and events to showcase our widerange of products and solutions.
The employee engagement index score for 2017 continued to show an upward trend with100% participation from our employees across locations. The strongest areas of engagementincluding ethics values safety sustainability and health & wellness reflect yourCompany's commitment to a balanced approach for growth and sustainability.
To reinforce our winning culture and commitment to workplace diversity our parentcompany entered the Paradigm for Parity Coalition a pledge to bring gender parity to ourcorporate leadership structure by 2030. We are committed to strengthen and action thediversity agenda and last year we institutionalized initiatives to increaserepresentation and retention of female workforce. Focused Employee Resource Croups (ERGs)were launched to further the cause and targets around 'Gender Diversity' and 'AppreciatingRegional Culture'. We care about our people's health and well-being and with that insight we brought the Virgin Pulse Global Health Challenge to our Company. Around 225employees participated in the Global Health Challenge displaying their interest towards ahealthy work-life balance.
Our initiative to strengthen the industry-academic relationship and pave way for futuretalent saw over 1100 students visiting our Naroda Plant on the occasion of InternationalManufacturing Day. The students joined us from various colleges running vocationalstudies engineering and management programs across Gujarat and were delighted to get thisopportunity.
Making a Difference
Our sincerity in caring about the communities within which we operate drives us to playan active role in making a positive difference to their lives.
In compliance with the Companies Act 2013 we continued to support existing initiativesand launched some new ones. This year we have positively impacted 55700 lives directly.
Our fight for wholesome nutrition for underprivileged children gained strength with ourcontinued support of Akshay Patra Foundation's mid-day meal scheme. As part of thisengagement 6500 students from government schools in Naroda were served nutritious meals.Furthering science education in government schools we also continued our association withAgastya International Foundation. Ingersoll Rand Science Centre at Government ModelSanskriti Senior Secondary School in Gurgaon and the mobile science lab in Narodafacilitates stimulating science education through experiential methods and well-trainedmentors. Our continued association with Smile Foundation's holistic Mission EducationCentre in Kolkata helps to empower underprivileged children through competent educationand co-curricular activities.
In the second year of our association with National Skill Development Corporation(NSDC) we continued our initiative to help the country's educated youth from weakersections acquire skills and earn a livelihood. In partnership with NSDC we are impartingtraining to 430 youth including 210 female participants for placement opportunities inFlealthcare and Automotive sectors.
With a dedicated focus on community development through environmental sustainabilitywe partnered with Uthaan NGO this year. We adopted some areas of land in Gurgaon forsupporting green plantation and maintenance in high traffic belts.
Driving our dream of a better world are our committed compassionate and engagedemployees who volunteer wholeheartedly in all our community development initiatives. In2017 our employees engaged in 15 volunteering activities putting in 1400 hours of theirtime across multiple projects.
Creating Lasting Vaiue
We are positioned to grow steadily in the coming years. With positive trends in bothglobal and Indian economy a strong rebound in India's industrial production and an uptickin the business sentiments we look forward to the new fiscal year with renewed optimism.
Our key driver will be our strategy of remaining invested in our differentiated productportfolio culture in-depth domain expertise exceptional customer service identifyingnew opportunities and delivering strong shareholder returns. Commemorating the 40thyear anniversary of the Company's public listing in the country the Board of Directorshas declared a one-time Special Interim Dividend of INR 202 per share.
We are commemorating this milestone by expressing our gratitude to the investors thatfurther demonstrates our commitment towards delivering value for our shareholders forsupporting us through this journey. This also reflects our continued efforts to activelymanage our capital while maintaining capacity for organic growth and ongoing operations.
We are committed to sustain and strengthen our leadership position in both global andIndian markets. We aim to deliver top-tier financial performance and create enduring valuefor all our stakeholders and the society.
Chairman and Managing Director