We believe, responsible businesses are sustainable businesses in the long run. More than just India''s most trusted financial services brand, we are a potent instrument of inclusiveness and empowerment for all sections of society; and our tenet of responsibility is a natural extension of this business philosophy. Our performance, during the year, must be viewed through the prism of responsible value creation for all stakeholders.
On a macro level, the global economy witnessed a moderation in growth due to a confluence of factors which affected most of the major economies. India registered a GDP growth of 6.8%, lower than the previous forecast of 7% on account of a sluggish fourth quarter. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has projected a GDP growth forecast of 7% for 2019-20, following the infusion of additional liquidity in the economy with more focus on priority sectors.
On the sectoral front, 2018-19 ended with several challenges for Non-banking Finance Companies (NBFCs), affecting their growth trajectory. However, what is encouraging is that the RBI is monitoring the sector more closely to address any signs of strain, which may progressively impact the entire financial services sector.
NBFCs are seeking new ways to fund their growth, and the RBI is facilitating the process with streamlining the system. NBFCs play an extremely important role in sustaining consumption demand as well as capital formation in the small and medium industrial segment and are critical to the Indian financial sector. To survive these challenging times, NBFCs need to opt for better practices and strengthen their risk-management framework.
Performance in perspective
The stressed NBFC scenario had a minor impact on gold loan players. The high costs of borrowing in the market, led to a marginal increase in interest rates, which increased the cost to customers. During the year under review, our revenues grew from Rs.63,331 Millions in 2017-18 to Rs.68,806 Millions in 2018-19,a growth of 9%. Profits for the year increased from Rs.17,776 Millions in 2017-18 to Rs.19,721 Millions in 2018-19 a growth of 11%. Gold loan assets under management also witnessed a significant increase from Rs.288,484 Millions in 2017-18 to Rs.335,853 Millions in 2018-19, a 16% increase.
Our business segments grew favourably as did our subsidiaries. Microfinance business grew its loan AUM from Rs.1,137 Crores in 2017-18 to Rs.1,840 Crores in 2018-19, registering 61.88% growth. Our Sri Lankan subsidiary opened six new branches across various locations during the year under review.
Our home finance subsidiary, Muthoot Homefin achieved a milestone of crossing gross loan disbursements of Rs.2,000 Crores since inception. This division also raised capital through its first Non-Convertible Debentures (NCD) issue. Our insurance broking arm, Muthoot Insurance Brokers grew favourably at a rate of 43% during the year under review and we expect this growth trend to also continue into the next financial year. We entered into the business of providing vehicle loans and equipment finance to our customers through our subsidiary Muthoot Money Limited, which commenced operations in June 2018. This marks our entry into, yet another financial product segment and we are optimistic that we will be able to service our customers and grow this business successfully.
Loan assets under management
Empowerment from grassroots
Over the years, we have become the nation''s largest gold financing company and have established ourselves as a brand that inspires trust and customer loyalty. With enhanced brand outreach and stakeholder recall, our iron-cast roadmap is to lead responsibly; and continue to help elevate the lives of millions of people through our community initiatives.
We had worked hard for community development and empowerment from the grassroots, even in an era, when the term Corporate Social Responsibility was not coined. Over the years, we have been actively involved in several community initiatives such as education, environment, sanitation, health and medical aid as well as financial aid to the economically backward classes.
Our community priorities are a part of our growth agenda and going forward, we will continue to strengthen our operations, grow our national and international reach and leverage our brand to transform lives by creating possibilities.
We will continue to lead all our stakeholders with responsible partnerships to enrich and empower lives and create value for all sections of society.
M. G. George Muthoot