I hope you your families and loved ones are safe during this health crisis. In theface of this adversity the safety of our people and extended community have been our toppriority. We have ensured that our facilities are in compliance with all the regulationsand safety measures including sanitisation safety equipment and social distancing norms.
The scale of economic and social disruption due to COVID-19 has been one of the mostunprecedented ones in recent human history. While the Indian economy was already reelingunder pressure of a cyclical slowdown much before the pandemic growth slowed down to 4.2%for FY20 as compared to 6.1% in FY19.
This growth is further expected to decelerate to -4.5% in the coming year due to thepandemic's impact. However since we are engaged in manufacturing of sugar generation ofpower and production of ethanol and other industrial alcohol which fall under the purviewof essential commodities our operations continued normally in accordance with directivesof the Ministry of Home Affairs.
There was bumper production during the previous two consecutive sugar seasons leadingto a pile up of sugar inventory. The government's timely response was commendable withinitiatives like buffer stock creation usage of sugar for ethanol production and asignificant hike in export subsidy.
These factors are expected to push up sugar prices by 8% to Rs 33-34 per kg and perk-upthe exports by 20% through the Sugar Season 2020 (SS2020).
Performance Review and Outlook
Sugar Manufacturing and Refinery
Due to weather related lower crop our Cane Crushing activity suffered. However ourrobust business model showcased resilience and we were able to bring down our losses. Ourrevenues grew by 6.31% to Rs 4567.9 Crore whereas our eBITDA stood at Rs 207.7 Crore.During the year we also took advantage of the government incentives on export quota aswell as buffer stock subsidy scheme which added to our bottom line. Our refining marginswere lower during the year. Things have started to look good for fy21 as the whitepremium (refining margin) has started improving on account of the improved pricing andexport subsidy from the government. During September we sold our stake in Shree RenukaGlobal Ventures Ltd. Mauritius which was the holding company of our Brazil operations.
We are also hopeful that the improving market dynamics will allow us to restart ourHaldia refinery by Q2 FY21. We are looking at brownfield expansion to the tune of 25%capacity expansion in Karnataka.
Our consumer sugar business under the brand Madhur' crossed new milestones duringfy20 as the business grew by over 32%. I am happy to announce that Madhur is India'slargest consumer brand in sugar and continues to win customers' trust especially inthese times where hygiene is given prime importance over pricing. We cemented ourpresence in the northern region during the year. I am proud to announce that Madhur is thefirst sugar brand in India to market itself on radio. We also engaged deeply with ourconsumers and prospects through consumer connect programmes and digital initiatives. Welaunched Madhur on popular social networking sites like facebook and Instagram so as tocomplete our digital channel presence. All our digital campaigns were highly successfulincluding our highly targeted Amazon campaign leading to better return on investment.During fy21 we expect to establish local packaging presence in the northern region ofIndia and continue with our high growth trend for Madhur.
Our volume during the current year suffered largely on account of lower Cane Crushingresulting in lower molasses production (feedstock for distillery) as well as un-favourablemarket conditions. However we remain positive on the overall outlook for the segment.During fy20 we pioneered an in-house process to generate ethanol directly from sugarcanejuice. This innovation reinstates our leadership position and enables us to lead byexample. We have already invested Rs 300 Crore in this segment and are confident of itsprospects and our performance during fy21.
Our production processes encompass cutting-edge technology and are designed to ensurethat our operations are sustainable in nature. We are also focusing on strengthening ourethanol manufacturing in alignment with the government's objective of advanceddevelopment in the field of ethanol production and usage in blended fuels.
We undertake various greenbelt initiatives in addition to treating environmentaleffluents. Our facilities are equipped with zero liquid discharge to enhance oursustainability measures. We also conduct various trainings to benefit the farmers onsustainable farm practices ensuring that even our supply chain is sustainable thusreducing our carbon footprint to the best extent possible.
During fy20 our teams undertook extensive relief work to help the people affected byfloods in Maharashtra and Karnataka as a part of our culture to give back to the society.
I now conclude with a vote of thanks to our Board of Directors for guiding theleadership team through these challenges effectively. I also acknowledge the relentlessefforts of all our employees and their families without whom we would not have been wherewe are. I also thank all our stakeholders including vendors bankers lenders communitythe government and above all to you our shareholders for your trust. We lookforward to your continued support and are confident of better times ahead.