Business success is dictated as much by the ability to identify opportunities as by thecapability to e3ectively harness inherent strengths to seize those opportunities. With oureye firmly on emerging and burgeoning opportunities across the segments of our businesswe at Triveni remain focussed on selectively augmenting our business3portfolios.
Amid challenges of surplus sugar production in the country and consequent subduedpricing our Sugar business remained on track with recovery of 11.79% surpassing that ofthe previous season. We continued to tap the growing opportunity matrix in sugarco-products especially Distillery and these businesses contributed immensely tocompensate for subdued performance of Sugar business. Distillery in particular postedunprecedented profitability on account of higher ethanol prices along with lower rawmaterial prices.
Encouraged by the positivity in the business climate and the Government's encouragementand support to increased Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme we remained on track withour plans to set up additional distillation capacities which has become operational inthe first quarter of FY 20. Our closely knit farmer relations in the strategically locatedcommand areas of our sugarcane procurement also continued to be a strong pillar for thisbusiness segment.
Though there are lower estimates of Sugar production in the next season it seems thatthe production may still outstrip consumptions for the third consecutive year. TheGovernment is doing well to support domestic sugar prices and export of sugar withoutwhich the industry would have been in deep trouble. The long-term solution is to evolverealistic sugarcane prices and any portion in excess thereof should be funded by theGovernment through some mechanism. We would then be truly subject to free market forcesand be self-su3cient without frequent intervention by the Government.
In the Engineering businesses the Capital Goods segments relevant to our business areshowing signs of recovery in domestic as well international markets which helped indelivering record performance in our Gears business. We saw our Gears business geting asignificant growth impetus which translated into excellent order booking turnover andprofitability during the year. Our success in garnering a significant share of theReplacement market in South and South East Asia Middle East and Africa also manifests ourability to steer our strategic charter in the areas of emerging3opportunities.
It has been a remarkable year for our Water business which secured major orders toenergise our presence in this niche segment thus helping us to report positiveperformance in terms of turnover and profitability. While we continue to work towardsseizing new opportunities triggered by the launch of the ambitious Namami Gange project bythe Central Government we also remain focussed on expanding our order book through otherprojects that o3er excellent possibilities for growth. This has helped us secure somelarge projects including a `33483crore Delhi Jal Board project. We believe thepositivity in this segment is just the beginning of an exciting journey for ourWater3business.
Our outstanding order book of `31489.8 crore for combined Engineering businesses marksan increase of 110% over the previous fiscal.
The majority of debts contracted by the Company carry concessional rate/ subvention ofinterest under various schemes of the State and Central Governments. It will help incontaining our finance cost. One of the biggest challenge before the Company is the hugepile-up of inventories triggered by massive increase in production and regulated sugardespatches which have been enforced by the Central Government to support sugar3prices.
The opportunity landscape as we can see is extremely large and evolving dynamicallynecessitating a new more focussed business approach aligned to the demands of themarkets. I3am happy to state that Triveni has successfully structured its business modeland continues to strengthen its core to seize these opportunities for the collectivebenefit of the Company and all its3stakeholders.
I would like to thank our stakeholders for their cooperation and confidence in theCompany which has and will continue to inspire us in our journey to scale new frontiersof growth.
With best regards
Dhruv M. Sawhney
Chairman & Managing Director