At Orient Cement we have built our Company around a distinctive spirit.
This spirit has focused consistently on operational and execution excellenceirrespective of the challenges posed by the business environment.
This spirit was most visible during the last financial year when the Indian cementindustry de-grew for the first time in years.
Your Company responded to the challenges of a demand slowdown with a sense of passion.Your Company enhanced focus on factors of competitiveness and efficiency within itscontrol. Fixed costs as well as variable costs per ton were contained and kept flat at theprevious year levels despite the usual impact of inflation on inputs like domestic coaldiesel and other resources. This was the result of a deepening commitment to placingHow differently can we perform?' over the conventional How much more can weproduce or sell?'
Besides your Company continued to focus on marketing superior cement possessing adistinctive USP. The proportion of sales derived from its super premium brand BirlaA1 StrongCrete' has been consistently increasing. This is helping us strengthen our marketposition in a competitive environment. It is also helping us counter the price challengesfaced in the PPC segment in our markets strengthening our overall realisations.
Your Company continues to believe that for a business to be sustainably profitable itdoes not just need to report robust revenues and surpluses; the business needs to adoptthe highest standards of health safety and environment integrity. During the lastfinancial year your Company took these standards ahead underlining its overallcommitment to the health of people communities and the environment.
Your Company continued to recruit train and retain high quality talent with vigour andexcitement. This differentiation was validated when your Company was recently certified asa Great Place To Work by GPTW Institute. The workplace continues to be charged withinnovative ideas and new ways of doing business. Your Company continues to play the roleof an opportunity enabler' that provides talent a platform to conceive connectcollaborate and achieve more in an effective way.
I am optimistic that the complement of these attributes will make it possible for yourCompany to counter the current downtrend and recover fastest when conditions revive. Icontinue to believe that we are engaged in an exciting journey where we expect to addattractive long-term value in the hands of those associated with our Company.
CK. Birla Chairman