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DIRECTORS' REPORT TO THE MEMBERS
The Directors have pleasure to present the 79th Annual Report of your Company covering the operating and financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2011.
During the year 2011 your Company achieved a total turnover of Rs. 15,646.2 million as compared to Rs.12,770.9 million in 2010, which reflects a growth of around 23%.
During the year 2011, your Company has been in the path of successful repositioning of its retail stores following aggressive expansion plans. Your Company has also improved its wholesale business with intensive focus in industrial and institutional sales. Introducing Total Quality Management, i.e., quality in merchandise, manufacturing, marketing, stores operations, new stores opening, grooming and building the best talented team, has been the most important driver of your Company's operations with increased emphasis on improving its productivity.
With continuous research and development, understanding the customer needs and preferences for design, quality and comfort remained another focus area. Improvement of overall product performance by implementing the planned strategies, bringing in new developments and product improvements based on consumer research have helped your Company achieve an unprecedented performance during the year under review. The use of modern technology and newer materials not only guarantee world class quality products at reasonable price but also cater to the fashion needs of the customers while meeting the ever changing market requirements.
Your Company has strengthened its BATA HOME - Delivery Service, a first of its kind service in footwear retail in India which is aimed at meeting the needs of our customers, who are unable to find the footwear of their choice at our stores, due to missing size or specific articles from your Company's wide shoe collections at a specific retail store. With this service, the entire stock of your Company is now available for sale by any retail store, which is offering this service. Using this service, customers can now place their orders for any footwear, which they are unable to find in a retail store and they get the same home delivered free of cost within seven working days.
During the year your Company's manufacturing facilities have also been upgraded with introduction of improved quality and better technology and materials for giving the products a more trendy looks and comfort to meet the ever changing market requirements. In order to meet its demand for footwear, your Company has tied up with various manufacturers to produce shoes as per its designs and quality standards.
Your Company has been consistently showing improved results in each quarter and will continue to grow its business by focusing on tier 2 and tier 3 cities where the potential for growth is enormous. In order to achieve volume growth your Company has introduced new retail concept - FOOTIN, with a new range of footwear focusing on affordable fashion and trendy styles. These FOOTIN stores are totally unique and different in terms of display and ambience from the other shoe retailers in India. This FOOTIN concept has a great potential to generate volume growth in view of the current market scenario of increasing organized retailing and with more and more malls coming up in mini metros and developing cities.
The improved performance of your Company over the past few years is a testimony to the fact that the Company is moving in the right direction and has adopted the right model of doing its business. The Indian market offers great opportunities and challenges as well. As the Indian consumers become more and more demanding in their choices, preferences and tastes, your Company also has to gear up to seize these opportunities and face the challenges.
TRANSFER TO RESERVES
The Company has transferred a sum of Rs. 225.8 million to General Reserve against Rs. 95.4 million transferred last year.
The Board of Directors has recommended a dividend of Rs. 5/- per share and also a special dividend of Re.1/- per share due to gains in surplus property development. Therefore, a final dividend of Rs.6/- per share (i.e., 60% on an equity share of par value of Rs. 10/- each) has been recommended for the year ended December 31, 2011 as against Rs. 4/- (i.e., 40% on an equity share of par value of Rs. 10/- each) paid last year. The payment of aforesaid dividend is subject to approval of the shareholders at the ensuing Annual General Meeting of the Company.
As on December 31, 2011 the Company has Rs 0.66 million unclaimed matured deposits. Necessary reminders have been sent to the deposit holders advising them to claim their deposits from the Company. Presently the Company is not accepting any fixed deposits.
ICRA has reaffirmed the rating of [ICRA] A1+ (pronounced as 'ICRA A one plus') to your Company for its CP programme. This is the highest-credit quality rating assigned by ICRA to short term debt instruments. ICRA has also reaffirmed the rating of [ICRA] AA (pronounced as 'ICRA double A') to your Company for its Line of Credit (LOC) limits of fund based/non-fund based facilities sanctioned by the Banks. The outlook on the assigned rating is 'Positive.'
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Your Company has received the following Awards and Recognition, which has made us all proud:
i) Bata India Limited was awarded "Retailer of Year (Footwear/Non Apparel)" by the Asia Retail Congress at Mumbai on February 8, 2011.
ii) Bata India Limited received the "Most Admired Footwear Brand" of the year award by Images Fashion Forum in Mumbai on February 18, 2011.
iii) Amity University awarded Bata India Limited "Corporate Excellence Award for the Best Retail Chain" during the international business summit on February 23, 2011.
iv) Bata Industrials received Directorate General Mines Safety Certification for its PU Sole Safety Footwear range.
v) Bata India Limited was recognized as the Most Trusted Brand at 18th position by the Brand Trust Report. This ranking is post survey of 16,000 brands; only 300 top brands were felicitated by The Trust Advisory.
vi) Bata India Limited has been awarded the "SUPERBRANDS" status again for the year 2012.
vii) Bata India Limited has secured the 35th rank in Brand Equity's Most Trusted Brands 2011 while being the No.1 footwear brand in India. As the most preferred brand, Bata continues to grow and service its valued customers with confidence.
viii) Bata India Limited bagged the Award for "Customer & Brand Loyalty" in Footwear Sector, at the 5th Loyalty Awards in February 2012, presented by AIMIA and conceived and managed by Kamikaze B2B Media.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
The following CSR activities have been undertaken by your Company during the year 2011:
? Your Company has come forward to preserve the nature by joining World Wide Fund (WWF) to protect the natural environment and its wildlife and also actively participated in "Save the Ganga" project. We have state-of-the-art effluent treatment plants so that we do not pollute the river 'Ganga'.
? Your Company has been associated with Family India - a voluntary network of individuals who supports a collective mission to provide social, educational and humanitarian services and conduct enrichment programs to improve the quality of life.
? Your Company has donated