Sanjay Aggarwal provides insights into the Company's turnaround its performance andhow it is moving further ahead to unleash potential and drive mega opportunities.
It is said "Get the basics right and the results will follow." This hasalways been the policy at Paramount Cables and it has always kept us going even in thetoughest times. I am pleased to tell you that once again this strategy has helped usovercome huge challenges and emerge stronger and wiser.
To fully realise the significance of this year's positive results we need to look backfor a moment at the sudden and catastrophic global financial and commodities meltdown of2008. That event put us in a very vulnerable position coming soon after we had made amajor acquisition investment in the United Kingdom and led to years of losses net wortherosion ballooning of debt and liquidity issues. What helped us navigate those stormyseas were the basics we maintained the strong operational performance that ourCompany has been renowned for over six decades; we launched new products with betterfeatures and quality; improved our supply reliability; and improved cost efficiencies.Thanks to our sustained efforts we managed to retain all our customers and markets andour brand equity for product excellence remained intact.
The result showed in our financial performance achieving record levels just one yearafter the successful corporate debt structuring in FY2017-18 which helped us bring downdebt by 65%. We also benefited from strong demand for our products. This backed by ourinitiatives to reinforce competitiveness contributed to better sweating of assets. Totalrevenues grew by 41% to reach Rs. 6178 Million led by higher execution of institutionalorders. A healthier balance sheet position with lower debt costs meant a strongerbottom-line growth. Operating profit increased from Rs. 10 Million in FY 2017-18 to Rs.455 Million in FY 2018-19 and profit after tax grew by 99% to Rs. 292 Million. We wereable to further bolster our net worth position which now stands at Rs. 1414 Million ason 31st March 2019 higher by 64% over the previous year.
Our performance in FY 2018-19 reiterates the strength of our business model. Havingsaid that we continue to explore ways to make it still more robust taking valuablelessons from the experiences gathered on our journey. First we are focused on growing theretail business in which we provide fire retardant and lead-free home wiring solutions.The performance and safety factors of these wires make them stand out in the market andhelp fuel demand. Progressing well with this strategy we have worked on increasing ourmarket reach. These products are now sold across Indian markets through a large network ofdealers and distributors.
Second we are trying to grow the export business. Our value proposition of quality andcompetitive pricing along with global certifications are contributing to greateracceptance of our products in several international markets. We are expanding thedistribution network to ensure deeper penetration in existing markets as well as to enternewer markets.
Alongside these initiatives we are nurturing our domestic institutional businesswhere we are seeing increasing opportunities led by several Government initiatives such asInternet connectivity power for all and modernization of the railway infrastructure.This has spurred demand for telecom power and railway cables. We won several prestigiousorders and closed the year with an order book of Rs. 2549 Million as on 31st_March2019.
We remain strongly enthused by the developments in these segments. In the telecomsegment customs duty hike on imported optical fibers is a welcome move and augurs wellfor the domestic players as India targets a massive countrywide connectivity programme. Inthe power sector the demand for electricity is expected to increase to 1.8 Trillion unitsas the country accelerates its growth trajectory aiming to become a US$ 5 Trillioneconomy by FY 2024-25. This will necessitate an investment of Rs. 5 Trillion in powertransmission. In railways plans to build and modernize metro rail networks in severalcities are opening massive opportunities.
Preparing for the opportunity
Paramount has always been a proactive organization. Despite passing through financialchallenges we have succeeded in getting several things right foreseeing the growth thatwould follow the slowdown. Our well-thought-out actions enabled us to retain and grow ourmarket position and ensure the sustainability of our business. We have identified futuregrowth areas where led by our in-house research and development capabilities we havebuilt a robust product portfolio of superior products. We have created a presence innewer promising markets in the country and overseas. We have extended our businessofferings to multiple sectors and customer segments. These initiatives are not justboosting our growth but are also adding strength to our business model throughdiversification.
As we move forward innovation will continue to be the cornerstone of our success. Ourfirm endeavor has always been to be a step ahead of the industry with our product range.We will continue to enhance and expand our portfolio to meet the ever-changingrequirements in terms of quality new applications new features and better performance.We are also working on more creative ways to improve operational efficiency and reducecosts.
I thank all our stakeholders for their steady support. The future is bright. We havesuccessfully weathered the crisis and emerged stronger. We are competitively placed as apreferred partner to B2B clients and a go-to brand for the B2C customers. With our strongoperational setup and reinforced business model we are progressing in the rightdirection. We have in place all the right building blocks to grow and maximize value forall stakeholders. The focus will now be on executing our strategies with more vigour anddeeperfiinsight.
Chairman & CEO