I am pleased to present the performance of the Company during the year under review. Wereported Rs.270.01 Crore in revenues in 2019-20 a 2.91% decrease over the previousfinancial year.
We reported Rs.84.27 Cr in profit after tax in 2019-20 a 13.82% increase over theprevious financial year.
We ended the year under review with H258.80 Crore cash on our books as on 31st March2020.
The principal development during the year under review transpired at the far end whenIndia was locked down following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Your Company lostalmost 10 days of ofitake and since this was the last week of the year usually the mostproductive week through the year the revenue loss' was estimated at around H15Crore.
Case for competitiveness
The principal question that a number of observers are asking is whether the Companywill remain competitive from this point onwards.
My answer is that the Company will remain relatively liquid and competitive through thecourse of the pandemic hangover for some good reasons.
One the Company has been cautious and conservative through its existence. This is bestreflected in the sequence and planning of our successive expansion programmes. India isthe possibly the largest addressable tableware market in the world on account of itsunder-consumption and low organised sector presence. In such a scenario it would have beentempting to expand aggressively. However the Company prudently selected to announceexpansions only after the existing capacity utilisation crossed 80% and would touch ratedutilisation by the time the new capacity was commissioned. This sequenced approachprotected the Company from building excessive capacity that could translate intoconsiderably higher production than the market could bear and in turn potentiallycompromise our realisations. Two the Company commissioned its Sitargunj facility througha mix of debt and accruals. The long-term debt was completely repaid well before the duedate. By the time the Company was ready for its next expansion it selected to make aqualified institutional placement of equity shares at a premium. The following expansionrounds by the Company have been financed through net worth eliminating the Company'sdependence on debt and strengthening the Company's capacity to counter weak market cycles.
Three the Company remained a retail-driven brand that invested progressively in itsrecall with the objective to sustain revenues even during the most challenging times.Four we engaged with a pan-India distribution footprint. We protected the scale andspread of this network across the years enhancing our revenue visibility.
We believe that all these competitive strengths will be increasingly evident across theforeseeable future as our society seeks to normalise following the lockdown.
At a time when most companies are worried about the repayment and servicing of debt wepossess no such liability. At a time when most companies are worried about price wars in achallenging market place our organised sector competition is negligible at best andunlikely to emerge now that we are commissioning yet another expansion. At a time whenIndian brands are worried about cheaper imports a moderation in imports is likelyfollowing weakening of the Indian currency.
At La Opala we continue to be optimistic of our long-term prospects because ourproduct is mature globally benchmarked for quality and priced lower than pure melamineand bone china. Your Company offers consumers products across price points making themhabit-forming.
On account of these reasons we are optimistic of protecting our Balance Sheet as longthe Covid-19 impact sustains and strengthening our Profit & Loss Account when consumersentiment recovers.