It is with energy and enthusiasm that I write to you about our performance journeyforward and future strategy. The last fiscal year marked 150 years of the Tata Group andto commemorate this we set up two centres of excellence dedicated to the nation - one isa "Centre of Excellence for Coastal and Marine Conservation" and the other is"Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Farm Excellence". The initial grant forthese Centres is being contributed by the Tata Chemical Society for Rural Development withsupport from Tata Chemicals and its subsidiary Rallis India. This is also a landmark yearas Tata Chemicals celebrates 80 years of business and 90 years of the Okha Salt Works itsbirthplace. Through this time we have navigated our business to meet the needs andexpectations of all stakeholders. Our longevity and continued relevance epitomises theinherent strength of our Values and Purpose.
Overall business performance
FY 2018-19 has been one of the best years in terms of performance holistically. Ourstandalone operational profit (from continuing operations) has been the highest ever.While TCL India's operations delivered to the plan there is a need to improve theperformance of subsidiaries. Our teams are focussed on the task on hand in terms of betterreliability of operations and more focussed market efforts. Our Basic Chemistry Businesshad good market conditions globally and maintained margins despite a surge in energycosts. We are progressing our plans to debottleneck and expand operations in Mithapurplant. We are also strengthening our product portfolio through the investment in Medikarbplant for Pharma grade Bicarbonate and the launch of Speckarb an industrial grade SodiumBicarbonate. These products are enabling us to tap newer customer segments and expandglobal operations.
Our Specialty Products Business is progressing well. We now have four verticals underit. The Agri Sciences Business run by our subsidiary Rallis faced tough market conditionswithin India however its exports grew at an excellent pace. Rallis has moved forwardwith new vigour to strengthen its sales and marketing through several operational stepsand new product additions. It is investing in its Dahej facilities to address the growingneeds of Indian and overseas markets. In the Nutrition Science Business our investment inthe Nellore plant for FOS (Fructo Oligosaccharide) is nearing commissioning. In theMaterial Science Business our acquisition of a silica plant in Cuddalore and subsequentupgrade is advancing as planned. We will make silica for food and HDS rubber (tyre) gradeat this plant. In Energy Storage Science Business our discussions with automotive playersis advancing on the back of the new EV policy announced by the Government. The ConsumerProducts Business performed extremely well. Our brands Tata Salt and Tata Sampannachieved greater traction. We strengthened the business launching several new productslike Ready-to-cook nutrimixes Basmati Rice and Red Poha and expanding the portfolio fromfood to home and fabric care segments with Tata Dx Detergent. The year was memorable asTata Salt crossed the milestone of clocking 1 million MT of packet sales. Our financialperformance reflected the steady operational performance. On a consolidated basis ourrevenue from continuing operations grew by 9% to C 11296 crore. Net debt stands at C1959 crore EBITDA was C 2095 crore and PAT was C 1395 crore. Cash and cash equivalentsat the end of the year stood at C 1952 crore.
Our strategy going forward
Our strategy going forward is to be a focussed science-led chemistry company. Withthis our focus will be on strengthening the innovative funnel to ensure aggressive growthin the Specialty Products Business. In our Basic Chemistry Products Business we willcontinue to be most cost-efficient Soda Ash Bicarbonate and Salt business. Our investmentin a Bicarbonate unit in the United Kingdom using innovative carbon capture process andMithapur plant expansion will provide significant thrust.
The Consumer Products Business will build food platform under the Tata Sampann Brandfurther.
In the Specialty Products Business the Agri Sciences Business is undergoingsignificant transformation with an ambitious C 800 crore investment plan and a rejuvenatedmanagement team who are focussed on driving excellence and growth. The upcoming plants ofNutrition Science and Material Science Businesses will add a new layer of growth. In theEnergy Storage Sciences Business we plan to build an integrated business that includescell manufacturing battery recycling and battery active production.
Focus on innovation digital thrust and sustainability
As we seek to accelerate growth our focus on building a sustainable knowledge drivenorganisation that is anchored in futuristic technologies will be the key.
Leading our efforts in this path are our laboratories in Pune and Bengaluru. We areinvesting in them to scale product development keeping in mind our long-termsustainability focus. Digital technology is now at the heart of our business operationsas we seek to simplify and speed up operations and serve customers better.
We will continue to make headway towards responsible manufacturing to ensure zero harmto people assets and environment across the business value chain.
I thank all our shareholders for their unstinting support. We remain motivated to builda sustainable long-term future while upholding the Tata Values and Group Purpose.Engaged employees are our strength and we value the passion and enthusiasm they bring totheir work. We have travelled eight decades together and seek to continue our journey withoptimism and enthusiasm for a better future. Best regards
Managing Director & CEO