The year gone by has been momentous for us on many fronts. While the Indian real estate sector witnessed many positive and disruptive changes, we continued to deliver a resilient operating performance and also set the stage for the next round of your company’s growth.
As the varied indirect taxes regime was replaced by a uniform GST regime and the state level RERA framework got implemented, your company was ready to adopt them across the value chain in a timely and rightful manner. Such reforms are structural changes which are providing long term growth and consolidation opportunities for organised developers like us. As the regulatory changes were taking shape, your company focused on enhancing the sales at our ongoing projects instead of new launches. However, simultaneously your company was putting together the foundation in place for its plans to scale up across the market segments.
We successfully raised capital during the year, setting the stage for our next round of growth by benefiting from attractive acquisition opportunities including distressed projects. We also capitalised on our strong brand by acquiring a 100 acres project in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), under the aspirational segment and the asset light JDA model. Through this project we have diversified our business across the pricing spectrum, from uber-luxury to affordable and at the same time being true to defining luxury living for all.
During the year, our EBITDA margins increased by almost 500 bps to 42%, and we posted a record PAT of Rs 2,135 Million. We also made multi-fold progress on further strengthening our balance sheet, with reduction in average cost of debt, decrease in absolute debt levels and an improvement in the long term credit rating to AA-. In terms of operational performance, we saw the momentum pick-up through the quarters for both our completed and under execution projects. Additionally, we completed our project Signia High in Borivali and initiated the handing over of apartments. We also commenced construction at our commercial project Sunteck Icon at BKC junction and our residential project Gilbert Hill at Andheri (W) during the year. Today, construction is happening at full pace at all our six ongoing projects. Our BKC projects saw improved traction and notable margin improvements, which gives a glimpse of the value that this inventory can potentially create. Our project in Oshiwara District Centre (ODC), Sunteck City continues to see significant improvement in infrastructure and is also poised to create huge value for our stakeholders, just like at BKC.
I would like to thank our investors for their constant support to us which led to your company receiving the best standout Investor Relations (IR) award in the mid-cap category from the IR Society of India recently. I would also like to thank our Board of Directors, customers, partners, associates and shareholders for their confidence in us which helps fuel the momentum towards a brighter future for Sunteck. We are excited about the times ahead and aim to benefit from the upcoming opportunity in India’s real estate sector, thereby scaling up our business and creating huge value for all our stakeholders.
Chairman and Managing Director