This level of performance did not go unnoticed in the stock markets, where the share price of the company responded well. The Company’s shares had been performing very well over the last couple of years and were being traded at around Rs. 2,513 at the beginning of the year 2012. As a result of the open offer by GSK plc, the price reached close to Rs. 3,825 at the close of the year, an increase of 52% in over 12 months. The share is now being traded at Rs. today. In line with the excellent performance of your Company during the year, the Directors of your Company have recommended a dividend of Rs. 45 per equity share of Rs. 10 each for the financial year ended 31 December 2012.
So we have a wonderful success story in Horlicks, not the least is the fact that the brand has achieved double digit growth for the last eight years. An achievement many envy, and for which the management should feel rightly proud.
Horlicks, better known as the great family nourisher in its glorious 100 years journey, had noteworthy sales which crossed the Rs. 2,600 crore mark during the year. Its brand extensions have expanded your Company's customer base and added incremental market share to the Horlicks brand overall. Your Company took ahead the restaging of Horlicks while continuing to deliver “Taller, Stronger, Sharper” growth benefits to children with 5 Signs of growth: bone area, muscle mass, increased concentration, more active nutrients and healthier blood.
Boost too recorded a fabulous year by moving the needle from sluggish to double digit growth with new, fresh campaigns and associations, thus, fuelling the core essence of stamina and energy. A first of its kind campaign, Boost took the lead and became the first Indian consumer brand to announce its partnership with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team for the 2012 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix. Boost also celebrated the 100th 100 of the great master blaster - Sachin Tendulkar and created an uproar in social and traditional media. Another unique and differentiated brand campaign and tie up was that of the much talked about India’s best ultra-marathon runner - Arun Bhardwaj. Boost successfully leveraged this association by highlighting its core brand assets to consumers through amplified PR and advertising tools.
Your Company’s food portfolio is expanding year on year. The value proposition of brand Horlicks is to offer the family a healthy choice to be in ‘top form’ of health. Horlicks’s foray into the breakfast foods category in India with Oats brought laurels to the portfolio. It gives us immense pride to share with you that within one year of launch, Horlicks Oats has become the 2nd most consumed Oats brand in the launch markets!
Horlicks’ launch into the functional biscuits category has also been very advantageous to the brand and its customers. It has truly benefited in reinstating the trusted nourishment of the brand, providing the customer a healthy and tasty consumption experience with a nutritional edge. Biscuits performed exceptionally well recording a 26% growth through the year. We need to recognise and congratulate those involved in helping your Company gain prominent equity in this market.
As you all are aware your Company has it core values in the philosophy of undertaking initiatives that help people to ‘do more, feel better, live longer’. A first for your Company, the Aahar Abhiyan cause related marketing campaign in West Bengal has turned theory into practice. To address the issue of malnutrition In India, is not an easy task, but we are extremely satisfied with the outcome of this pilot project. It was a complete run away success and was appreciated by our customers, partners and has helped create awareness about the issue of ’malnutrition’ as a serious concern. With this we are very positive about the future enrolment of people in the campaign and its extension to other markets thus, following GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare’s global mission of reaching out to more and more lives and making a nutritional difference to each one of them.
Facing economic challenges and finding effective answers for each and every issue, your Company continued to deliver strong results across all functions and businesses. By reducing operating costs, increasing focus on capital optimisation programs and maximising returns from surplus cash, the effective deployment of marketing spends have supported sustained investments across brands for your Company.
Your Company has undertaken several measures to improvise on the product manufacturing and capacity front. It initiated operations for a new manufacturing line using Vacuum Band Drier (VBD) technology. This is the World’s largest Vacuum Band Dryer line and can augment the facility by 10,000 tonnes per annum. Another manufacturing unit was opened in Bangalore with an aim of getting closer to our customers. Some of our other initiatives for North and West markets include strengthening infrastructural facilities. Your company is proud to report that it has added 50,000 stores to its distribution base during the year 2012.
As one of the most socially and environmentally committed organisations in the country, a 'Spirit of Partnership' differentiates your Company from others that merely indulge in 'corporate philanthropy' instead of actually investing in the community. In order to bring about a definite change to the lives of marginalised people, your Company has invested heavily in health and education programmes/partnerships. These initiatives aim to address the root cause of the problem and, in the long run, help in the creation of a healthy, inclusive and progressive nation. In 2012, while women, children and the aged were the main focus for your Company, our organisation continued to support other humanitarian and community causes, especially during crisis situations like natural disasters.
The GSK ‘Spirit’ also inspires employee volunteering under Corporate Social Responsibility, better known as CSR. The 'PULSE' program, which is an integral part of GSK's commitment to serve communities around the world, empowers employees to volunteer their professional expertise towards sustainable change. Your Company also organized ‘Orange Day’ events, where employees spent quality time with marginalised sections of the society. These events take forward your Company's philosophy of developing self and others.
It also supported numerous Community Partnership Projects in the sphere of children's health and education, support to the homeless, education and empowerment of tribal children, and sustaining healthcare and the livelihood of the tribal community across the country.
Your Company believes that its people are its biggest resource and USP. The management of your Company therefore, continues to give the utmost importance to learning, development of leadership skills, and talent recognition across functions.
I am happy to inform you that over the year we have maintained healthy relations with our business and trade partners, whilst fostering positive industrial relations throughout the Company.
Your Company is committed to uphold the best corporate governance practices in all its undertakings, ensuring smooth, ethical and transparent operations while communicating truthfully with all its stakeholders. Your Company follows best practices to achieve a goal of creating wealth for all its stakeholders and enriching long term shareholder value.