Ambuja Cements Ltd, one of the leading cement manufacturers in India and
part of the LafargeHolcim group, recently held its 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM) via video conferencing.
This is the first-ever virtual AGM held by Ambuja Cement against the
backdrop of the COVID-19 situation. Social distancing norms were observed
while conducting this AGM and all relevant guidelines and circulars of the
Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) were followed.
Martin Kriegner, Director of the Company, successfully chaired the
meeting while other Board of Directors and shareholders joined via video
conference. Shareholders exercised their voting rights electronically through
remote e-voting services administered by Central Depository Services Limited
Apart from approving the audited standalone as well as consolidated Annual
Financial Statements for the year 2019, shareholders confirmed the payment
of interim dividend @ Rs. l. 50 /- per equity share. The shareholders also
approved the appointment of Mr. Neeraj Akhoury as the MD & CEO of the
Martin Kriegner informed the shareholders about the steps undertaken by the
company to deal with the COVID-19 situation emphasising the importance of
the Health & Safety of employees, their family members and business
Kriegner hailed the commendable work undertaken by the company’s
CSR arm, the Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF), during this pandemic. ACF’s
model of engaging with community stakeholders has enabled the company to
reach out to nearly 700 000 people in about 2000 villages across the country’s
rural areas. ACF is also actively engaging with reputed NGOs to distribute
food packets and rations to migrant labourers in Mumbai and Delhi.
Highlighting Ambuja Cement’s performance in 2019, Kriegner mentioned
that the company delivered robust operational as well as financial
performance, notwithstanding a challenging economic environment. Net Sales
increased by 3.4% to Rs. 11 353 crore. Absolute Earnings Before Interest, Tax,
Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) registered healthy growth of 13.6%
at Rs. 2,149 crore aided by strong measures to enhance overall efficiency and
productivity, as well as fuel mix optimisation and strategic sourcing. The Net
Profit After Tax after adjustments improved by 19% to Rs.1 426 crore. New
Products and Services were introduced with sharp value propositions to meet
the needs of the customers across India.
To mitigate the impact of the coronavirus situation, Ambuja Cement has
executed a robust business continuity plan focused on Health, Cost, and
Cash. Currently, all Ambuja Cement plants and grinding units are operating
while continuing to maintain strict Health & Safety protocols.
Ambuja Cement is a debt-free company and has sufficient cash reserves to
meet its financial obligations, with a very comfortable liquidity position.
The company’s Greenfield expansion project at Marwar Mundwa in Rajasthan
is progressing as per schedule and is expected to commence operations by
next year. This project will add about 3 million t of clinker to produce
4. 5 million t more of cement.
The shareholders were also briefed about various sustainability initiatives
undertaken by the company. These included the company
achieving eight times water positive and being ranked #4th in the construction
material category of the globally acclaimed uDow Jones Sustainability Index.
Kriegner also reiterated that the company is very optimistic about its future despite the COVID-19 situation. The recent initiatives by the government will help resurgence of rural demand and infrastructure projects including affordable housing. Ambuja Cement is confident that the current business impact is only temporary.
The full results of the Annual General Meeting along with the Chairman’s
Speech are available on the company’s website and website of the stock exchanges.
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