As I write this note India is just coming out of the second wave of Coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic which was much more severe than the first wave we saw last year. Ihope we now prepare ourselves better for any future wave and see an economic recoverysoon. FY21 was a challenging year with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the lives andlivelihood of people across the globe. After the lockdown in the first quarter therecovery in the demand environment was better than anticipated helping to partiallymitigate the financial impact. The global economy declined by 3.5% in 2020 due to COVID-19outbreak. The Indian GDP growth is estimated to have declined by 7.5% in FY21. The fiscalsupport by various governments and liquidity infusion helped stronger recovery in demandpreventing full blown recession.
Dealing with the pandemic
As we restarted our operations post lockdown in the first quarter of FY21 the groupquickly implemented the requirements for physical distancing sanitization and wearingmasks across our plants and offices to ensure safety of our employees. Customerengagement as well as internal interactions were conducted leveraging the technologiesfor virtual meetings. Across the board significant cost reduction projects wereimplemented to align the cost to the lower volumes.
The group aggregate Total Revenue declined 6.7% to Rs 4140.4 crore and EBITDA margindropped 67 bps to 7.24%. The Group companies continued to engage in various operationalimprovement projects on productivity and to save costs on material procurement poweretc.
We continued to focus on new business development initiatives during this period. I nowturn to specific challenges we continued to face during the year.
The performance of Rane Light Metal Castings America (RLMCA) was affected significantlydue to volume drop of existing products and delay in launch of new businesses due toCOVID-19. The operational performance of the business has improved with the introductionof TQM practices. This was evident from the significant reduction in expedited freightcost repairs maintenance cost consumable tooling cost and the cost of poor quality.Rane (Madras) Limited Board is closely reviewing the performance of the businessconsidering the operational improvements order book position and long-term potential.Rane Engine Valve Limited turnaround plan is taking longer than anticipated due to drasticdrop in volumes. The management team reduced the breakeven sales through operationalimprovement and cost reduction measures. We have also enhanced the order book positionparticularly non-automotive business.
Rane NSK Steering Systems Private Limited made further warranty provisions based on thecontinued claims in FY21. We are confident that the countermeasure has adequatelyaddressed the root cause. We hope to see some stabilization in this warranty issue in thecurrent year.
Rane Brake Lining Limited and Rane TRW Steering Systems Private Limited continued tostrengthen their market position and performed well.
Rane's major CSR projects of Polytechnic college and CBSE School near Trichy adoptedonline model and successfully completed the Academic year 2020-21. Both the institutionscontinue to do well in terms of student engagement with the virtual delivery model evenduring pandemic times.
We remain optimistic about the demand recovery in FY22. However the risk of anyfurther pandemic waves and resultant lockdown could derail the growth.
An excellent dedicated and professional team of employees continue to drive thecompany's efforts on enhancing our market position and improving the operational andfinancial performance in these challenging times. On behalf of the entire Board of RaneHoldings Limited I would like to thank all our Stakeholders Customers EmployeesVendors Investors Bankers Government and most importantly our shareholders who haveconferred immense confidence in us throughout this long journey.