It is a real pleasure to report on another year of solid performance by your Company. I''m particularly pleased with how the business has performed in the domestic market despite the uncertainties due to the rollout of the Goods and Service Tax. We have taken the changeover to the new tax regime in our stride and we welcome the efforts made by the Government to formalise the economy. Despite the disruption,
I personally remain confident that the long-term gains will outweigh the temporary shortfall.
We firmly believe that the strength of our brands underpins our growth momentum. In FY 2017-18, revenue from Indian branded business grew 74% and branded share in total revenue increased to nearly 46%.
Led by the strong performance of our branded footwear and branded offerings in areas of garments and accessories. Total revenue stood at Rs, 972.50 Crore in FY 2017-18 as against Rs, 936.51 Crore in the previous year. Profit before Tax (PBT) increased to Rs, 117.84 Crore in FY 2017-18 from Rs, 106.94 Crore in FY 2016-17.
Our most impressive achievement has been the emphatic growth for our brands in the domestic market. While REDTAPE has emerged as a premium lifestyle brand, our latest sub-brands of REDTAPE, Bond Street and REDTAPE Athleisure resonate with aspirations of young India. Offering the unique proposition of quality and style at affordable prices, the newly launched brands were extremely well-received in the first full year of their market presence. Overall, driven by strong brand connect, domestic branded revenue increased exponentially by 74% year-on-year.
The continuous expansion of our distribution network has proved to be a successful strategy for improving accessibility and driving sales in India. Keeping our fingers on the pulse of our consumers, we are also leveraging the powerful world of e-commerce and social networking sites to connect with our audience. Enhancing our retail and online presence will continue to be a major focus for the current financial year, and we are confident that this strategy will enable us to maximise the potential of our brands.
To support future growth, we recently launched a new brand for women''s footwear which is currently available online.
Drawing upon our industry-leading experience along with in-house strengths in design and manufacturing, we believe we have significant opportunity to capitalise on this attractive segment. As in the case of men’s footwear, the keystones of style, quality and price remain at the core for this new product category.
Design innovation, world-class quality at the best prices and speed to market has kept our product portfolio contemporary and competitive in the international markets. REDTAPE is a leading leather footwear brand in the fashion capital of UK. The brand also enjoys mindshare and market share in various other overseas markets, including the US. In addition, we are supplying white label products to global brands across geographies. While export sales in FY 2017-18 failed to deliver on our expectations, we believe that the setback is a setup for a comeback. Our passion for excellence has inspired our tremendous success over the years; this passion remains as strong as ever. By constantly assessing our operating landscape, identifying growth opportunities, exploring new technologies and driving innovation, we are committed to put our international business back on a firmer footing.
As India’s largest leather footwear manufacturer, we fully understand the importance of business responsibility. Sustainable operations and wider commitment to our communities is a fundamental part of our culture as an organization. Our tannery is not only the largest in India but also has one of the biggest effluent treatment plants, making it one of the most environment-friendly tanneries in the world. To make a real difference in the lives of people from underprivileged backgrounds, we are closely examining their needs and delivering relevant interventions in the areas of education, health and rural infrastructure.
In summary, we will continue to invest in our brands and our business both domestically and internationally. India, in particular, characterized by favourable demographics and rising internet penetration, offers compelling prospects for retail and e-commerce. The economy is expected to maintain a buoyant growth trajectory in the coming years; this should translate to higher spending across all consumption categories. Additionally, in Tier 2 & 3 cities, a huge untapped population coupled with changing consumer lifestyles provides significant opportunity for the organized retail sector.
And last but not the least; GST implementation has cut out the advantage enjoyed by smaller
players operating informally.
The interplay of all these factors is expected to result in a shift in the buyer’s preference to branded products. Our growing presence and the strong value proposition of our brands makes us look to the future with confidence. The best is yet to come.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank our shareholders, bankers and government authorities for their continued support and our extremely capable and dedicated employees for all their contributions. I would also like to express our gratitude to our customers for their patronage and the confidence they have shown in our products. With continued support from all our stakeholders, we look forward to an exciting and successful 2018 and beyond.