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It gives me immense pleasure to share with you our performance for the year and perspectives on the way forward.
This year marks 150 years of Tata Group’s service to society. Tata Chemicals has made a significant contribution to the group’s agenda. Next year we will celebrate 80 years of Tata Chemicals and 90 years of the founding of the enterprise as Okha Salt Works. Throughout the time our Company has constantly evolved to stay relevant to meet the needs of customers and deliver value to all its stakeholders.
Overall Business Performance
Our business is robust. Performance was upwards and on expected lines across all geographies including India, Kenya, the UK, and the USA. In India, we launched Medikarb, a pharmaceutical grade sodium bicarbonate, and there were pilot launches of khichdi mix, a nutrimixes range, and our organic pulses range. Distribution of new products is through modern retail stores which is improving the focus and brand equity of Sampann.
With a strong focus on productivity improvement, the Company achieved profits in line with expectations. During the year revenue from continuing operations was Rs.10,345 crore, down from Rs.10,681 crore in the previous year. This small reduction was consequent to a management decision to reconfigure the supply chain in our Consumer Products Business. Net profit was up by Rs.439 crore at Rs.1,560 crore. Adjusting for one off events the net profit from continuing operations was up by Rs.123 crore.
Cash flow from operations continues to be strong. On a standalone basis there was a reduction of borrowings by Rs.1,003 crore and we showed a healthy cash position of Rs.3,753 crore resulting from the divestment of our urea business.
Going Forward - Our Strategy
The Company today is engaged in an energising transformation agenda built on the three pillars of Innovation, Sustainability and Digitisation. Our future growth catalysts are going to be specialty chemicals and consumer products.
For the Specialty Business, the past year marked the first milestone of our transformation. We seeded two new investments totaling Rs.565 crore. We began work on our nutritional solutions plant in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh and signed the business transfer agreement for our acquisition of the precipitated silica business of Allied Silica from which we will build the Highly Dispersible Silica Business out of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu.
Both these businesses were spawned in our Innovation Centre in Pune and are first in a pipeline of businesses being seeded by the Company with a focus on innovation and applications of new technologies.
Our two subsidiaries Rallis and Metahelix, which house the specialty businesses, Agrochemicals and seeds respectively, are also making excellent strides in terms of new products and innovation in farms.
Our Consumer Products Business is following a strategy to expand range and reach. We expanded our range from Tata Salt to pulses including organic pulses, nutri-mixes and khichdi. We have a strong pipeline of value added products, to be launched from time to time. In addition we have invested resources to build a resilient digitised sales and distribution engine to drive greater reach and engagement. Our direct reach continues to improve and all our brands improved their brand equity position in the past year.
Simplify, Synergise and Scale
Our exit from the fertiliser sector has simplified the portfolio of the Company and there are now strong synergies between all our businesses, underpinned by a foundation of science. The focus now is to scale our specialty and food consumer businesses while we retain scale in our basic chemicals business.
The balance sheet strength of the Company now enables it to drive scale in both the specialty and consumer portfolio.
Focus on Innovation, Digital, and Sustainability
Our investments in laboratories in Pune and Bengaluru are the backbone of building knowledge driven businesses with strong foundations in future technologies. Many of the product lines being pursued at these facilities are in line with a growing emphasis on sustainable solutions. Digital technology is now at the centre of every aspect of the Company’s operations.
We are embracing the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution through Manufacturing 4.0 and Sales & Distribution 4.0. These are central pillars to our ways of working. Our efforts toward managing the concerns of climate change and energy use are driven through a focus on responsible manufacturing, to deliver Zero Harm to people, assets, and environment across the value chain in current and future businesses. These efforts will gather momentum in the current year and beyond.
I would like to thank all the shareholders of the Company for their continued support. We remain focused on building a sustainable long-term future for the Company for all its stakeholders while upholding the Tata Values and Group Purpose. Engaged employees are our strength and they bring passion and energy in all our efforts. We now rededicate ourselves to the journey ahead as we celebrate 150 years of the Tata Group.
I assure you it will be a fruitful and fulfilling journey together.
Managing Director & CEO