"We are committed to doing business the right way and are actively helping shapeperceptions for the sector with a strong compliance focus."
As the leading beverage alcohol company with an outstanding portfolio of brands I ampleased with the progress we made in growing our business and our brands this year. Aftera challenging FY18 our improved performance in FY19 is a validation of the strategyexecuted by the Company and its management. Furthermore it is a testimony to the robustgrowth platforms and good governance practices we have established. I am especiallydelighted that we have achieved this despite the complex regulatory challenges a norm forour industry.
The recently concluded general elections that brought the ruling party back to powerwith an overwhelming mandate promises stability and accelerated economic reforms for theworld's fastest growing economy.
This augurs well for our long-term business prospects as we believe strong economicfundamentals along with higher purchasing power will collectively drive consumptiongrowth. However frequent and non-harmonised policy changes faced by India's beveragealcohol industry along with limitations on pricing freedom remainsfichallenging.
While we will continue to work with states to enable a stable policy framework onethat is fair to all stakeholders we look to the new government at the Centre to progresspolicies aimed at enhancing ease of doing business for our sector. After all makingIndian manufacturing industry more competitive is an important part of the Make inIndiafiinitiative.
One direct way the Central Government can help the beverage alcohol industry is byreducing basic customs duties on Scotch that are currently very high. Importing Scotch isa necessity to manufacture and blend premiumfiwhiskies.
CELEBRATING LIFE EVERY DAY EVERYWHERE
Our purpose Celebrating Life Every Day Everywhere is the credo thatkeeps us engaged with our consumers customers partners as well as the community andsociety in which we operate. We are passionate about the role our brands play incelebrating life.
We remain committed to serving the Indian consumer's growing appetite for premiumproducts across all categories and are pleased that scotch is growing in popularity. Westrive to bring people together enriching lives in myriad ways and in doing so oureffort is also to continue to build economic value for state governments across thecountry by contributing to revenues.
We are committed to doing business the right way and are actively helping shapeperceptions for the sector with a strong compliance focus. The CGR2 rating by ICRAreflects our rigorous adherence to strong corporate governance and financial managementpractices.
Furthermore as a responsible Company we made significant investments in varioussocial development and livelihood programmes including in our agship Diageo Road toSafety initiative.
During the past few years we were able to attract and develop top notch talentenhance inclusion and diversity and build a high-performance culture. It is a matter ofpride to see Indian talent exported to the Diageo world across functions and geographies.
On behalf of the Board of Directors I thank the Central Government the diverse StateGovernments for their help and support our trading partners for their valuedcontribution the leadership team and every member of the Diageo India family for theirhard work and commitment to delivering another good year. Last but not the least onbehalf of the Board I thank all our valued shareholders for their continued support andconfidence in the Company.
We remain committed to creating meaning ful experiences for our consumers and buildingenduring value for our entire stakeholder fraternity.
Mahendra Kumar Sharma