It gives me immense pleasure and joy to present to you the Annual Report of our companyfor the year 2018-19. We would like to take this opportunity and make a tradition to giveyou all a thorough account of events that have transpired in our company. Last year hasbeen a very eventful one for our company not only did we come out with a successfulinitial public offer but also witnessed tremendous progress in our business.
I am happy to report to you that we witnessed a 40.5% growth in revenues fromoperations over the previous financial year on account of strong volume growth of about50%. We also recorded a 21.5% increase in operating profit and 14.7% growth in profitsafter tax over the previous financial year.
Our company has been focusing big-time on creating the necessary physicalinfrastructure for our growth outside of northern India be it on the supply-side withstock depots and stockiest or on the consumer-side with studios and dealers. We addedmore than 85 dealers this year on top of the 470 dealers we already had in the previousfinacial year. Apart from the 10 Sirca-brand studios that we are currently operating in 7states we have in pipeline another 6-7 studios that will be launched in the coming 6months.
Our wood coatings manufacturing facility which was earlier delayed due to delay inattaining of complex regulatory approvals will be commissioned in September 2019. Thismanufacturing facility has been developed in complete technical collaboration with SircaS.p.A Italy; Sirca has supervised at each step of the construction and development ofthis facility.
Post commissioning we will be manufacturing melamine economical PU thinners and NCproducts at this unit.
Product Portfolio and Strategy
In line with our strategy to strengthern and widen our product portfolio this year wemarked our entry into the premium wall paints segment. To start with we have launched 7products both interior and exterior paints. These products will be manufactured at ournew unit which was comissioned earlier this year we have developed this entire unit onleased land and building with minimal capital expenditure.
A complete product portfolio along with some other strategic measures undertaken by uswill help us in stregnthing our dealer loyalty.
We have also earmarked a budget of approximately 3 crores for marketing and promotionalactivities for financial year 2019-20 this is a major increase as compared to our earlierexpenditure in this category. Our objective is to increase the brand recall for Sirca andcreate more and more awarness regarding the merits of our products.
Commissioning of our wood coatings facility will open up new territories for us. Wealready have in place distribution rights for Sirca products in Nepal Bangladesh and SriLanka. We plan to export fast-moving products at competitive prices in the above-mentionedcountries.
We also have in place a distributor for Sri Lankan markets. Apart from that we havetapped Dubai as a new market where we have received approval for 3 fast-moving products.We have appointed a distributor in Dubai who will be taking care of the demand in thatregion.
I am proud to announce that Sirca Paints India Limited has already received finalapproval from the NSE for its migration from NSE Emerge platform to NSE Main Board. As amatter of fact Sirca has been the fastest migration on the NSE Platform.
I conclude by saying that we are perfectly placed for leading and realsing the growthin wood coatings space in India and neighbouring countries.
I thank all our investors and stakeholders for their continued belief in our companyas we move forward on an exciting path ahead.
With warm regards