Business Wire IndiaThe 38th Annual General Meeting of Ambuja Cements Ltd. was conducted virtually today. Mr. Martin Kriegner, Non-Executive Director of the Company, chaired the meeting. The Chairman mentioned that Ambuja Cement is strongly progressing to become the ‘Most Innovative, Sustainable and Competitive Building Solutions Company in India’. Ambuja Cement has a robust road map to become the best in the industry with strategic priorities structured under key levers of Growth, Competitiveness, Innovation & Digitalisation, and Sustainability.
Growth: Ambuja Cement has ambitious growth plans to increase capacities and capture market growth in India. Its upcoming facility in Marwar Mundwa, Rajasthan will enhance clinker capacity by 3 MTPA and help improve cement sales by 5 MTPA, contributing to long-term strategy of capacity expansion. This Greenfield integrated plant, at a total investment of Rs. 2350 crores, will commence operations by Q3 2021. Ambuja is evaluating brownfield expansions in Bhatapara and Maratha plants. It is also looking at significant debottlenecking opportunities across all plants. The growth plans will be executed in mid-term for Ambuja to reach 50 MTPA cement capacity.
Competitiveness: Ambuja’s Operating EBITDA grew by 23% to Rs. 2,647 crores and Net Profit grew by 17% to Rs. 1,790 crores in 2020. Operating EBITDA and Net Profit margin for the year stood at 23.7% and 16% respectively, reporting a growth of 480 basis points and 260 basis points, over 2019. This strong performance was delivered through several cost management and efficiency initiatives. During the year, Ambuja leveraged synergies with ACC to drive scale and performance. This synergy under the Master Supply Agreement with ACC led to more than 5% contribution Profit Before Tax in 2020. Ambuja Cement has a robust balance sheet with zero debt and an AAA rating from Crisil.
Innovation and Digitalisation: During the year, Ambuja has launched its special product, ‘Ambuja Kawach’, which is a sustainable water-repellent cement and reduces carbon footprint by 33%, in comparison to other products. Its special product volume has recorded a strong double-digit growth of 16% in 2020 and now comprises 11% of its total volumes.
Ambuja is strongly committed to enhance business efficiencies by leveraging Digitalisation. The key focus of the year was on implementing digital tools in various parts of operations to enhance performance. The main initiative was the ‘Plants of Tomorrow’ program which records and reports data from all assets on a real time basis helping improve operational efficiency. On logistics front, Artificial Intelligence powered supply chain management platform ‘Blue Yonder’ was initiated, and ‘Transport Analytics Center’ adopted from parent LafargeHolcim. Ambuja has also increased its digital engagement with customers and channel partners.
Sustainability: Ambuja Cement’s global parent LafargeHolcim has committed to becoming a ‘Net Zero’ company and has set for itself the most ambitious climate targets in cement industry. Ambuja has aligned to its parent’s ‘Net Zero’ plan and sustainability strategy. Ambuja’s Sustainable Development Plan 2030 has a sharp focus on climate and energy, building a circular economy, conserving resources and nature, and driving meaningful change in the lives of communities. It aims to reduce CO2 to 463 kg CO2/t cem. Ambuja targets to reuse 13.5 million tonnes of Waste and be 13 times water positive. It aims to save 77 litre/ tonne of cementitious of water and positively impact the lives of 80 lakhs beneficiaries through its various CSR programs.
In 2020, Ambuja reduced its Specific net CO2 per tonne of cementitious product to 531 kg. A unique initiative in pipeline is the construction of WHRS in three locations by 2022 that would generate 54 MW to support power requirements in its plants. On circular economy, Ambuja co-processed around 4.5 lakhs tonnes of waste in its kilns including 83,000 tonnes of plastic waste. In addition, it consumed about 8 million tonnes of waste derived alternative raw materials such as fly ash, slag, synthetic gypsum in the manufacturing process. Ambuja is at the forefront in India in offering sustainable, long-term waste management solutions through ‘Geocycle’, its waste management arm. In 2020, Ambuja has been 8 times water positive and reached out to 15.6 lakhs beneficiaries, through its CSR programs. Across all its 20 locations, Ambuja reported zero fatality. It ranked 5th in the Global Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a very significant global recognition.
Comments of Mr. Martin Kriegner, Chairman of the 38th AGM:
“I would like to congratulate all the employees of Ambuja for their resilience and commitment to deliver a remarkable performance in 2020. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I express my sincere appreciation for the efforts and hard work from employees at all levels and wish them the very best for year 2021. I take this opportunity to thank all our shareholders for their trust.”
Mr. Martin Kriegner and other members of the Board of Directors, and the shareholders joined the meeting via video conference.
The Board has declared an interim dividend of Rs. 17 per share and has recommended a final dividend of Rs. 1 per share, which was approved by the shareholders in today’s AGM. Thus, the aggregate dividend for the year is Rs.18 per share and the total pay-out will be Rs. 3574.16 crores.
The full results of the AGM, along with the Chairman’s Speech, shall be uploaded on the Company’s website www.ambujacement.com