Kolkata, 24th September, 2009
The shareholders of Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd. have approved a dividend of Rs.20 per share at the Annual General Meeting held today. This is the highest ever dividend declared by the company. The company achieved significant milestones in business and operations in the financial year 2008-09, inspite of recessionary pressures prevalent in the economy.
The Company recorded its highest ever gross turnover of Rs.1776 crore as against Rs.1571 crore last year, showing a 13% growth. The profit before tax rose to Rs.152 crore as compared to Rs.130 crore last year, an increase of more than 16%. Similarly, the net profit stood at Rs.102 crore against Rs.87 crore last year reflecting a growth of nearly 17%. The earning per share stood at Rs.62 as compared to Rs.53 last year, one of the best for comparable companies. In view of the improved performance, the board recommended dividend of Rs.20 per share as compared to previous year dividend of Rs.17 per share.
In terms of growth, four businesses, i.e. Industrial Packaging, Greases & Lubricants, Travel & Tours and Logistics Infrastructure & Services have once again been the main revenue drivers.
The Industrial Packaging Division which is the largest manufacturer of steel drums / barrels continued to hold its lead position in the market. Though the performance of the Industrial Packaging Division in the first half of the year was buoyant, the latter half it showed a decline on account of the global economic downturn. However, the demand has since stabilized and it is expected that the volume and market share shall remain stable in the current year. The performance of the Greases and Lubricants Division was stable despite the unprecedented situation on account of the volatility in crude oil.
The Logistics Services SBU which offers comprehensive range of logistics solutions, including Air Import Consolidation, Sea freight forwarding, Customs clearance, Handling of Project Cargo, Chartering of aircrafts & vessels and Door-to-Door Logistics was largest contributor to the profits. Though, the Logistics Infrastructure SBU managing Container Freight Stations, Warehousing and Distribution activities performed exceedingly well in the first half of 2008-09, its performance in the second half was adversely affected due to global recession resulting in slowdown of the exim trade.
The Travel and Tours SBU performed well in face of adverse circumstances. The commission on ticketing has been reduced to 3% (as against 5% earlier) by the domestic carriers and some international carriers, while the European carriers are now following a 0% commission regime. While the business performance from the domestic travel exceeded the budgeted figures, the international and other sectors fell marginally short of expectations. The wider customer base and high quality service provided by the Travels and Tours SBU was responsible for significant improvement in both its turnover and profitability.
The Leather Chemicals SBU also achieved growth in both volumes and turnover despite the difficult leather industry scenario.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, the company has launched two flagship programmes namely “Balmer Lawrie Initiative for Self Sustenance (BLISS)” aimed at promoting self-sustenance of disadvantaged/economically backward sections and “Samaj Mein Balmer Lawrie (SAMBAL)” aimed at improving the overall development of habitations/communities in and around the company’s work centers.