As I sit down to pen my message for the Annual Report FY 2019-20 at a desk in my homeI am reminded of a quote by one of India's most revered poets Rabindranath Tagore"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water." Stayingresilient and agile in difficult situations is the only way we can respond efficaciouslyand adapt to changing times swiftly.
With the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzing the world and causing disruption to the magnitudenever experienced before your company quickly shifted focus on safeguarding the safetyand well-being of employees ensuring business continuity while considering all therelevant guidelines and supporting the community we live and operate in. Driven by astrong belief that an organization's strength is in its employees your company announcedthat there will be no job losses due to the COVID-19 situation at SRF.
Creating Value: The SRF Way
On the business front your company performed well and achieved several milestones inFY 2019-20 despite the dynamic domestic and global macroeconomic challenges. Viewed froma financial lens your company achieved a 55% increase in profit after tax at Rs 916 crorecompared to Rs 592 crore last year. Your company's revenue for the year stood at Rs 7209crore as against Rs 7100 crore in the previous year recording an overall growth of 2%.This growth was primarily on account of strong performance reported in the ChemicalsBusiness and the Packaging Films Business. While we saw challenges in our TechnicalTextiles Business due to the auto sector slowdown and an overall sluggish pace of economicactivity we have however over the years built a robust multi-business entity whichholds us in good stead. Strategic innovations across businesses backed by strong R&Dteam have helped the company effectively face such external uncertainties.
Coming to our specific Businesses I would like to talk about some of the milestonesachieved by each of our business segments in FY 2019-20.
In the Fluorochemicals Business we commissioned multiple facilities during the yearthat enhanced our HFC capacities further. We view this as a key expansion for the companythat will drive growth from this segment in the coming years. I am also proud that R-467Aa drop-in substitute for F-22 that our R&D team developed in-house receivedcertification by the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-ConditioningEngineers commonly referred to as ASHRAE. It is the first- ever refrigerant gas fromIndia to receive this certification. An approval by ASHRAE is testimony to the fact thatSRF is at the forefront of major fluorine-based gas transitions set by internationalregulations to reduce the global emissions of greenhouse gases. During the year theBusiness also announced the setting up of an integrated Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)plant along with an R 22 plant as feedstock. With this your company is all set to enterthe Fluoro polymer space a new business segment and further enhance our value chain inthe Fluorine segment. The overall performance of our Fluorochemicals Business was stableduring the year despite prolonged and severe slowdown in the auto and white goods sectorleading to a low demand of refrigerants. However the volumes of Chloromethanescontributed positively to the overall revenues of the Business.
Given the COVID-19 impact on various industries we expect the demand for refrigerantsfrom OEMs to remain low in the near-term. Having said that I am confident of the growthmomentum reviving and your company is well positioned to leverage on our existingfacilities to deliver superior performance in the future.
The Specialty Chemicals Business has done very well during the year and increased thecapacities of most of its flagship products. Moreover the Business has made significantadvances to improve the overall efficiencies in all new products with a focus on runningall the plants to maximum capacities and debottlenecking them as the need arises. Ahealthy demand from both the agrochemical and pharma segments has been encouraging andwith the right investments that your company has made in this Business we are ready toseize all opportunities that arise in the future. At the beginning of the year we hadprojected an outlook of 40-50% revenue increase in the Specialty Chemicals Business. I amhappy to share that our overall revenues for the Business are in excess of Rs 1650 crorewhich is higher than what we had indicated.
In addition the Business is working on sustainability with a more determined effort toreduce our carbon footprint as well as use less water in our processes. Overall wecontinue to be optimistic that new product opportunities will emerge in both theagrochemical and pharma segments and exhibit a positive trajectory for the Business andwe expect to report a healthy performance in FY 2020-21 as well.
The Packaging Films Business has had a good year. Our continued strides towardsmaximizing contribution by keeping costs under control improving the product mix andworking towards sustainability initiatives is what sets us apart. Both the BOPET and BOPPfilms segments delivered steady returns to the overall performance. During the year yourcompany announced the setting up of a BOPP film line in Thailand making it our third BOPPline with facilities in South Africa Indore and now Thailand.
Sustainability initiatives remain one of our top priorities going forward. TheGovernment of India is working aggressively on reducing the use of 'Single-Use Plastics'.This directive pertains to the use of single-use plastic products such as plastic platescutlery straw plastic beverage bottles etc. Our products do not cater to any of theseend use products and multi layered packaging is not a part of the definition of single useplastics. With the help of our in-house R&D we will continue working out processesthat enable us to use more recycled chips in our film production.
As stated earlier the performance of the Technical Textiles Business (TTB) was subdueddue to a sluggish domestic demand. However the Business continued to focus on enhancingthe operational excellence parameters at all its plant locations through cost saving andenergy efficient methodologies.
During the year we also announced the closure of the TTB plant at Rayong Thailand asit was becoming economically unviable to continue running the plant. While these measuresare difficult they are also necessary to enhance competitiveness.
In Coated Fabrics your company continues to maintain price and volume leadership inthe domestic market. By adding textile capacity on a regular basis we have not onlyincreased our share but also made ourselves more competitive. The Laminated Fabricssegment has also seen an increase in the sales volume on a year-on-year basis in anover-supplied market. This is despite a lot of States banning the use of flex material asa signage solution.
You would remember that in May 2019 the company had announced the sale of itsEngineering Plastics Business to DSM India. The closing conditions of the transition werecompleted in the second quarter of FY 2019-20 and the sale of the Business has now beenachieved.
Before I close I want to reiterate that your company cares deeply for its people andthe communities in which we operate. We have an important role to play during the COVID-19crisis and commit ourselves to support the communities especially the migrant workers whohave lost their livelihood as well as the authorities who are fighting tirelessly againstthe spread of coronavirus. SRF Foundation the corporate social responsibility arm of SRFLimited is working to provide emergency response through the distribution of familyessential kits kits for frontline workers and hospital support material. Additionallythe team of SRF Foundation is working with their partners to support the education andlearning needs of children across our intervention schools by bridging the digital dividethrough innovative methods.
In conclusion I am confident of our growth potential and business opportunities thateach of our segments exhibit. As the domestic and international operating environmentimproves gradually I am optimistic of a healthy performance. This is possible due to ourinvestments in world-class infrastructure competent resources superior R&Dcapabilities and a strong adherence to safety protocols which is a cornerstone of oursustainability endeavors. I am also confident of creating sustained value for all ourstakeholders as we progressively step into FY 2020-21.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of SRF Limited I want to thank all employees ofSRF and the management team for your hard work. I would also like to thank the investorsand shareholders for your continued trust confidence and support.
Arun Bharat Ram