The effects of Covid pandemic appears to be waning due to theperseverance of various governments in implementing effective health measures and thevaccine administrations. Hopefully the problems of the pandemic are behind us. Just whenwe started breathing fresh air the international scenario took a toss in areas ofstrategic relations and surge in inflations.
The international relations got severely strained with outbreak ofconflicts. The sanctions imposed led to spiraling costs of Oil Coal Food grains etc.Consequently countries including India faced severe inflation in the economy.
The governments like the USA India were forced to initiate controlmeasures to contain the rates of inflation not seen in decades. The large bouts of raisesin bench mark rates like Federal Reserve Rate in USA and Repo Rate had its effect on themarkets.
The impact on the cement sector which is a flagship business of ourcompany was severe in the form of skyrocketing coal prices. The raise in coal pricesstarted from the middle of financial year 2021-22. Coal which used to be about USD 80 atthe beginning of the financial year shot up beyond USD 400 and hovering around USD 350.But the silver lining was that the demand for cement continued to be healthy. Thereduction in the margins were to some extent off set by the volumes. Power generated bythe coal fired power plants also came under the impact of cost escalations including thatof our company.
It is hoped that the initiatives of government in investing ininfrastructure and capacity building along with the launch of Gati Shaktischeme? might further boost demand for Cement. Hopefully the aggressive mergers andacquisitions would not hamper the healthy competition albeit at elevated levels in theindustry so that companies of all sizes survive.
The Heavy Engineering segment of your company continues to sufferlargely from input prices escalation. In the engineering segment also demand continues tobe healthy but the selling prices are not remunerative due to stiff competition.
The Hotel at Hyderabad started doing good business with healthyoccupancies of rooms and enhanced foot falls in food & beverage segment. The Companyaims to grow sustainably and meaningfully and intend to become a carbon-neutral buildingmaterials entity as early as possible in line with the National Policy.
Going forward the industry is keenly looking forward to termination ofinternational tensions which could help restore normalcy in prices. The Government isdoing its might to create demand in the economy. But cost push emanating from beyond theborders needs quick resolution.
The Company continues to support communities through variousdevelopment initiatives in the areas of Sustainable Livelihoods Quality of Education andWASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene). Our community development initiatives areimplemented at the local level thereby channeling contributions to areas of the greatestimpact in the local context. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) expenditure wasbeyond the limits set under the Companies Act 2013.
We believe that good governance is an essential part of our businessgrowth. Our governance framework and philosophy are inspired by our ethics values andculture of professionalism followed for decades. The Board remains the custodian of trustfor sustainable long-term wealth creation.
Before I conclude on behalf of our Board of Directors I would like tothank all the shareholders for their unstinted support to the Company.
I express my gratitude to the Central and State Governments forensuring congenial atmosphere in running our business and also extend my thanks to otherstake holders customers suppliers dealers tax authorities enforcement agencies banksin their understanding our requirements and standing by us.
I place on record the single-minded devotion of our employees inachieving the goals of the company.