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It is with great pleasure that I present to you the 48th Annual Report of your Company, Aries Agro Limited.
During the year under review 2017-18, the monsoon recorded below normal rainfall to the tune of 95% of the LPA (Long Period Average). However, July and August witnessed some of the worst floods in Gujarat, South Rajasthan, Assam, Bihar, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. This was followed by a long prolonged dry spell in September across India during the first half of the month. The tremendously erratic weather conditions led to the Company needing to continuously modify and align sales strategies to ensure growth in all regions. With these efforts the company managed to increase its revenue (gross) by 15.40 % from Rs.277/- to Rs.320/-Crores. On a consolidated basis, international sales were limited due to suspension of manufacturing in UAE facilities and installation of like manufacturing capacities in India.
The total capacity utilization currently stands at 61 % of the total installed capacity of 95,400 MT p.a. in India. During the year under review with the expanded manufacturing capacity in Hyderabad and Chhatral facilities due to reinstallation of similar machineries like the UAE units, the import substitution led to a significant improvement in manufacturing cost efficiency.
Aries was awarded with an appreciation Certificate for excellence in “Sustainable Environmental Initiatives” by the Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For Thirteen consecutive years Aries Quality Management System was audited and certified as NS-EN ISO 9001:2015 with zero non-compliance report showing complete adherence to international quality standards.
Cost control measures strengthened along with continued focus on domestic manufacturing increase in profitability (PAT) by 19.47 %. On a consolidated basis despite the restructuring of international operations consolidated P&L showed an increase of 48.48% in PAT in comparison with the previous Financial Year.
International clients are located in Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam & Taiwan. Distributors in Nepal and Vietnam have invested in branding and promotion of our range of products in their respective countries. The total exports and global sales constituted 8.89% of our group revenue during the Financial Year 2017-18.
As this year marks 10 years since our IPO, we are pleased to brief as a part of this Annual Report a summary of our Financial Performance from 2006 till date. This shows a healthy growth in our revenues of 28% Year on Year over the 12 years period, working out on a year on year average of 15%.
Aries continues its tradition of carrying out a range of activities that spread knowledge and adoption of farming best practices in the markets that Aries functions in.
The company undertook activities focused specifically on supporting education across India by constructing washrooms and water tanks, supplied benches, carried out repairs on school building, provided educational kits, ROs and also computers. The Company also provided fees and scholarships to students in addition to series of awards to meritorious students.
The Company''s Call Centre based in Vijayawada continued to provide answers to farmers'' queries on integrated nutrient management, pest management, soil health and post harvest management. During the year under review 13,351 knowledge dissemination activities including farmers meeting were undertaken impacting 91,800 number of farmers. These sessions were conducted by team of 138 extension officials spread across 26 states.
Farmers'' meeting and training programmes on good agricultural practices were conducted in almost all States across India. The unique feature of these events have been that they had participation on a common intellectual platform from top government officials, opinion leaders, academia, research scholars, scientists, agribusiness students and farmers from across the states.
The Company also organized soil testing camps in 3 major consuming states using Mobile Soil Testing Kits.
2018 monsoons are expected to be normal and the Company is hopeful of achieving good growth in revenues and profitability. The Company conducted its digital flash sale first time this year with “App only” bookings leading to participation of 1400 Nos. of dealers/ distributors from all states with a total booking of Rs.398/- crores for 2018-19. This marks the introduction of successful digital sales promotion techniques by the Company. The conversion expected is 75 to 80% of this order book and expect to achieve total gross revenue of Rs.350/- Crores.
The urban farming facility using hydroponics also became fully operational during the current year with two harvests being successfully undertaken for a variety of crops including varieties of Basil, Pokchoi, Cherry Tomatoes, Lettuce, Coloured Capsicum and Micro Greens. The R&D team also created specially designed nutrition solutions for soil free farming and this have been used in our own research facilities as well as in some commercial hydroponic farms.
Through its products and passion, Aries continually demonstrates that it is a responsible corporate citizen, working hard to retain the delicate balance of nature and the development of communities where it works and grows.
Dr. Rahul Mirchandani
Chairman & Managing Director