A warm welcome to the 16th annual general meeting of the company. It is my privilege toaddress you through this letter after taking over as Chairman of the Board from mypredecessor Mr.George Joseph. George and I had a smooth transition during November 2017.I am glad that we have been able to retain his experience and leadership with Wonderla. Iwould like to thank him for accepting the Board's request to continue with the company asExecutive Vice Chairman. My journey with Wonderla began on an exciting note. In the firstfew days after joining the board of the company I had visited Bangalore and HyderabadParks. During these visits I made it a point to experience the park as an externalvisitor rather than Chairman of the company. These visits provided memorable experiencefor me. Later I visited our park at Kochi with my family including grandchildren. True tothe theme of this report I found the parks delivering experience' in all aspectssuch as courteous staff exciting rides quality food at affordable rates clean andhygienic environment.
Company's performance during FY 2018 had been a mixed bag. Revenue went up marginally approximately 3% over previous year to Rs.2705 lakhs. This subdued growth wasprimarily due to the decline in number of visitors by 6.5 % compared to last year. One ofthe major factor for this decline was increased ticket price in the first two quarters ofthe year while switching over from service tax to GST. During the 4th quarter we couldstabilize the price factor and I hope we will have an improved flow of visitors in thecoming quarters. The board of directors of the company has recommended a final dividend ofRs.1.50 per equity share of the face value of Rs.10 subject to the approval of the membersin the forthcoming annual general meeting.
A Strong Wonderla
Ethics and governance are the founding values at Wonderla. Our company has anexperienced board innovative senior leadership and an enthusiastic mostly youngstaff. We give utmost importance to high operating standards and practices. Health andsafety of visitors and employees and commitment to the environment are fundamental to ourbusiness model. While the external environment tends to be unstable at times the companyover the years have exhibited its ability to have an unwavering internal environment byway of innovation cost control sense of urgency and control over operational aspects.
The development of amusement parks is one of the factors in the development of thehospitality and tourism industry worldwide. Proactive government policy factors play a bigrole in the success of amusement parks industry which is in its early stage of developmentin India. Amusement parks apart from an affordable - exciting leisure option for themiddle class also give employment opportunity to many semiskilled and unskilled youthespecially from rural areas and small towns. It is a major trigger for indirect employmentand small business opportunities for many people in the vicinity of the park. When moreand more people are getting glued to electronic gadgets and tend to remain in theirpersonal space amusement parks like Wonderla give an opportunity for families and friendsto come together have fun and frolic and experience togetherness. This in itself cannotbe considered as a luxury . It is a facility which is not available in several municipalareas .Therefore Government and local bodies should provide a reasonable tax structurefor amusement parks industry making it affordable to common people and attractingfurther investment. During the year our company along with our industry peers had engagedin continuous dialogue with the Government on the 28% GST factor which had adverselyimpacted our industry. The rate was reduced to 18% in January 2018. On behalf of thecompany and industry I thank the GST council for reducing the GST rate.
We have passed on the benefit of tax reduction to our visitors. The Amusement ParkIndustry Association is in talks with Government for modifying certain unaffordable locallevies and your company is an active participant in this process.
Wonderla's management team and employees are the foundation of delivering experience toour visitors . Together we will continue to drive the company's progress.
Our Social Initiatives
Social responsibility is our founding principle envisioned by our promoters. Wonderlasince its inception has been involved with various community development programs. As partof the CSR initiatives the company allocates the annual CSR outlay directly to thebeneficiaries as well as through donations to NGOs.
During FY18 the company spent Rs.124 Lakhs towards various CSR initiatives whichincludes Education Healthcare community developments and donations to NGOs for providingassistance to orphanage homes old age homes & child welfare organizations.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and every member of Wonderla team I wish togratefully acknowledge the support and confidence of our Shareholders Patrons InvestorsRegulators Financial Institutions Bankers and Vendors. I would also like to congratulateeach and every member of Wonderla Team for their sincere and committed contribution. Ilook forward to their continued support.
My colleague Mr Arun
Chittilappilly will elaborate further on our FY18 performance and operationalstrategies.