west coast paper mills ltd share price Management discussions


Overview: The global economy was estimated to have grown at a slower 3.2% in 2022, compared to 6% in 2021 (which was on a smaller base of 2020 on account of the pandemic effect). The relatively slow global growth of 2022 was marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, unprecedented inflation, pandemic-induced slowdown in China, higher interest rates, global liquidity squeeze and quantitative tightening by the US Federal Reserve.

The challenges of 2022 translated into moderated spending, disrupted trade and increased energy costs. Global inflation was 8.7% in 2022, among the highest in decades. US consumer prices increased about 6.5% in 2022, the highest in four decades. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate to its highest in 15 years. The result is that the world ended in 2022 concerned that the following year would be slower. The global equities, bonds and crypto assets reported an aggregated value drawdown of USD26 trillion from the peak, equivalent to 26% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). In 2022, there was a concurrently unique decline in bond and equity markets; 2022 was the only year when the S&P 500 delivered negative returns of more than 10%.

Global FDI inflows – equity, reinvested earnings and other capital – declined

24% to nearly US$1.28 trillion in 2022. Global trade expanded by 2.7% in 2022 (expected to slow to 1.7% in 2023). (Source: OECD, WTO data) The S&P GSCI (benchmark for commodity investments and a measure of global commodity performance) fell from a peak of 4319.55 in June 2022 to 3,495.76 in December 2022. There was a sharp decline in crude oil, natural gas, coal, lithium, lumber, cobalt, nickel and urea realisations. Brent crude oil dropped from a peak of around USD 120 per barrel in June 2022 to USD 80 per barrel at the end of the calendar year following the enhanced availability of low-cost Russian oil.

Regional growth (%)

2022 2021
World output 3.2 6.1
Advanced economies 2.5 5
Emerging and developing economies 3.8 6.3

Performance of major economies

Country

GDP Growth in 2022 GDP Growth in 2021
United States 2.1% 5.9%
China 3.0% 8.1%
United Kingdom 4.1% 7.6%
Japan 1.7% 1.6%
Germany 1.8% 2.6%

(Source: IMF, World Bank data)

Outlook: The global economy is projected to grow a weak 2.8% in 2023, marked by sustained Russia-Ukraine conflict and higher interest rates. Global inflation is projected to be 6.6% in 2023.

On the positive side, the reopening of Chinas economy after the waning of the pandemic, the decline in the European energy crisis and the robust US consumption outlook (despite high inflation) remain positives. Interestingly, even as the global economy is projected to grow less than 3% for five years, India and China are likely to account for half the global growth in 2023 (Source: IMF).

Indian Economy

Overview: Even as the global conflict remained geographically distant from India, ripples comprised increased oil import bills, inflation, cautious government and a sluggish equity market. India reported an estimated economic growth of 7.2% in FY 2022-23. India emerged as the second fastest-growing G20 economy in FY 2022-23. India had retained its position as the

fifth-largest global economy and was seen as a principal driver of the global economy (with China).

Growth of the Indian economy

FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23
Real GDP growth(%) 3.7 -6.6 9.1 7.2

Growth of the Indian economy quarter by quarter, FY 2022-23

Q1FY23 Q2FY23 Q3FY23 Q4FY23
Real GDP growth (%) 13.1 6.2 4.5 6.1

(Source: Budget FY24; Economy Projections, RBI projections)

According to the India Meteorological Department, the year 2022 delivered 8% higher rainfall than the long-period average. Indias wheat harvest was expected to fall to around 102 million metric tons (MMT) in 2022-23 from 107 MMT in the preceding year due to unseasonal rains. Rice production at 132 million metric tons (MMT) almost at par with the previous years yield. Pulses acreage grew to 31 million hectares from 28. Due to a renewed focus, the oilseed area increased by 7.31% from 102.36 lakh hectares in 2021-22 to 109.84 lakh hectares in 2022-23.

Indias auto industry grew 21% in FY23; passenger vehicles (UVs, cars and vans) reported impressive growth with retail sales hitting a record high of 3.9 million units in FY23, crossing the previous high of 3.2 million units in FY19. The commercial vehicles segment grew by 33%. Two-wheeler sales fell to a seven-year low; the three-wheeler category grew 84%.

Indias exports (merchandise and services) have grown 14 percent over the same period of the previous year. As Indias domestic demand remained steady amidst a global slowdown, imports in April-March 2022-23 have grown 16.5 percent over the corresponding period of the previous year. Indias exports in FY2021-22 were $676 billion and achieved a record $775 bn in FY23.

Indias current account deficit, a crucial indicator of the countrys balance of payments position, increased to $67.1 billion or 2% of GDP from $38.7 billion (1.2% of GDP) a year ago. Indias fiscal deficit was estimated in nominal terms at ~ 17.55 lakh crore and 6.4% of GDP for the year ending March 31, 2023. Indias headline foreign direct investment (FDI) numbers rose to a record $84.8 billion in FY2021-22, However, during the fiscal year 2022-23, the country experienced a 16% decrease in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, amounting to $71 billion on a gross basis. This decline can be attributed to the unfavourable global economic conditions and stands as the first contraction in FDI in the past ten years.

After three consecutive years of rise, Indias foreign exchange reserves declined by around $ 70 billion in 2022 amid rising inflation and interest rates. The countrys forex reserves, which stood at $606.47 billion on 1 April 2022, declined to $578.44 billion on March 31, 2023. Indias currency weakened from Rs 75.91 to a US dollar to 82.34 as on 31 March 2023 due to a stronger dollar and weaker current account deficit.

The countrys retail inflation, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), eased to 5.66% in March 2023. Inflation data on the wholesale Price Index, WPI(which calculates the overall prices of goods before selling at retail prices) eased to 1.3% during the period. In 2022, CPI hit its highest of 7.79% in April 2022; WPI reached its highest of 15.88% in May 2022.

India moved up in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings from 100th in 2017 to 63rd in 2022. The government was estimated to have addressed 77% of its disinvestment target ( 50,000 crore against a target of Rs 65,000 crore). In 2022-23, total receipts (other than borrowings) were estimated at 6.5% higher than the Budget estimates. Tax- GDP ratio was estimated to have improved by 11.1 percent Y-o-Y in RE 2022-23.

The total gross collection for FY23 was

18.10 lakh crore, an average of Rs 1.51 lakh a month and up 22% from FY22, Indias monthly goods and services tax (GST) collections hit the second highest ever in March 2023 to Rs 1.6 lakh crore. For 2022–23, the government collected

16.61 lakh crore in direct taxes, according to data from the Finance Ministry. This amount is 17.6 percent more than what was collected in the previous fiscal.

Per capita income almost doubled in nine years to Rs 172,000 during the year under review, a rise of 15.8 percent over the previous year. Indias GDP per capita was 2,320 USD (March 2023), close to the magic figure of $2500 when consumption spikes across countries. Outlook: According to the World Bank April 2024 projections Indias GDP is projected to expand by 6.3 percent in FY24, catalysed in no small measure by 35% capital expenditure growth by the government. The growth could also be driven by broad-based credit expansion, better capacity utilisation and improving trade deficits. Headline and core inflation rates could trend down. Private sector investments could revive. Indias retail inflation rate could decline from 6.6 percent to 5.2 percent in FY24.

The global landscape favours India: Europe is moving towards a probable recession, the US economy is slowing, Chinas GDP growth forecast of 4.4% is less than Indias GDP estimate of 7.2% and America and Europe are experiencing its highest inflation in 40 years.

Indias production-linked incentive appears to catalyse downstream sectors. Inflation is steady. India is at the cusp of making significant investments in renewable energy and other sectors and emerging as a suitable industrial supplement to China. India is poised to outpace Germany and Japan and emerge as the third-largest economy by the end of the decade.

The outlook for private business investment remained positive despite an increase in interest rates. India remains less exposed to Chinese economic weakness, with much less direct trade with China than many Asian peers. Broad-based credit growth, improving capacity utilisation, governments thrust on capital spending and infrastructure should bolster investment activity. Accordingtooursurveys,manufacturing, services and infrastructure sector firms are optimistic about the business outlook. The protracted geopolitical tensions, tightening global financial conditions and slowing external demand are the downside risks.

Union Budget FY 2023-24

The Budget 2022-23 sought to lay the foundation for the future of the Indian economy through projects like PM Gati-Shakti, Inclusive Development, Productivity Enhancement & Investment, Sunrise Opportunities, Energy Transition and Climate Action, as well as Financing of Investments. The capital expenditure of the Indian government expanded 35.4% from Rs 5.54 lakh crore to Rs 7.50 lakh crore. An outlay of Rs 5.25 lakh crore was made to the Ministry of Defence (13.31% of the total Budget outlay). An announcement of nearly Rs 20,000 crores was made for the PM Gati-Shakti National Master Plan to catalyse the infrastructure sector. An expansion of 24,500 km was initiated for the national highways network. An outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crore was announced for Production Linked Incentive schemes across 13 sectors.

PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY

Global

The global pulp and paper business is a significant economic sector, marked by applications in writing, printing and packaging. The global pulp and paper market was valued at around USD 387.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to surpass USD 477.7 billion by 2028 growing at a compounded annual growth rate(CAGR) of 3.5% during the forecast period. China, the United States and Japan remained the three largest paper-producing countries, accounting for over 50% of the global output. North America held the largest share of the worlds pulp and paper market, catalysed by increasing demand for packaging and consumer goods. India was the 15th largest global paper producer, marked by a growing paper board consumption at a time when the North American and Europe markets are slowing. The one emerging trend is the growing gravitation towards eco-friendly production methods and the use of recycled materials.

India is arguably the fastest-growing paper market. The countrys paper industry is projected to experience a sustained demand surge on account of a need for quality packaging boards in addition to a growing demand for value-added paper (copier, cup stock, base paper for making straws and paper bags and other single-use paper products). Indias paper and pulp domestic market size of $10.6 Bn. Paper consumption in India was approximately 22.05 MT in FY23. Carton boards and container boards (corrugated boards) account for 55%, followed by writing and printing paper at 25%, specialty paper at 10% and newsprint at 10%. The country is expected to grow 6-7% a year to reach 30 million tonnes by FY 2026-27, catalysed by robust growth in the packaging board. The consumer packaging segment is expected to grow by 9.5% CAGR, driven by increased volumes of household appliances, FMCG products, ready-made garments, pharmaceuticals and e-commerce. The ban on single-use plastics is likely to increase the demand for paper-based alternatives. There has been a steady capacity increase in the packaging paper segment from FY2017 to FY2023; 2.4 lakh tonnes per annum has been added and another 4.0 lakh tonnes per annum is anticipated to be added by FY24.

(Source: researchandmarkets.com)

Outlook: The Indian sector business is estimated at $13.4 billion by 2024, with annual paper demand expected to increase 6-7 percent, reaching 30 MTPA by FY26-27. The paper sector has demonstrated adaptability, but technical developments will be critical for quality, export and growth. Backward integration will be required for raw material security; capacity expansion will influence viability. (Source: moneycontrol.com)

Indian paper industry personality

Core: Indias paper industry is considered a core sector, contributing significantly to the economy.

Cyclical: The industry is cyclical; its performance is linked to the health of the global market and resource costs. Versatile: The Indian paper industry comprises more than 850 paper mills (21% based on wood, 71% on recycled fibre and 8% on agro-residues). The industry produces writing & printing paper, packaging grade paper, newsprint paper, specialty paper and tissue paper.

Paper market demand drivers in India

Headroom: Indias per capita paper usage is roughly 13 kg, well below the global average of 57 kg, which provides a large consumption headroom

Eco-friendly packaging: There is a growing shift towards environment-friendly paper and packaging materials

Packaging market: The Indian paperboard market is a growing proxy of the consumption-driven boom in the country; the Indian packaging market is expected to reach USD 204.81 bn by 2025.

Health/sanitation: The pandemic has catalysed the demand for specialty paper products (tissue, wipes, etc.). Indias tissue and hygiene paper market is projected to grow 4.47% (2023-2027) to US$47.36 bn by 2027.

Exports: India exports paper to various countries including those in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe. The high quality and cost-effectiveness of Indian paper have made it a popular choice for businesses and individuals in these regions.

Sectoral opportunities

The Indian paper industrys growth has been marked by robust packaging and health & hygiene segment demand, catalysed by rising incomes, growing per capita expenditure and urbanisation. Literacy: With the reopening of schools and rising enrolment numbers, increasing literacy (continued government thrust on education through various schemes) is expected to increase expenditure on textbooks, notebooks and paper products.

Health and hygiene: The demand for medical-grade tissues has risen, along with higher office and paper consumption in hospitals.

Population growth: A growing Indian ‘earning population has enhanced disposable incomes.

Rising digital print industry: The digital printing industry is seeing significant transformations with new technologies and applications providing cost-effective and customized solutions.

Green packaging: The Indian paper packaging industry is growing on account of better paper packaging quality, consumer choice and a shift towards eco-friendly alternatives.

Diversification: Paper companies are diversifying their product portfolio by producing hygiene products like facial tissues and household items like paper towels.

E-commerce boom: The Indian e-commerce industry is expected to grow to USD 200 billion by 2026, catalysed by smartphones and influencing the demand for packaging boards.

Sectoral threats

Digitalization: As the world shifts towards digital platforms, paper demand could decline.

Volatility: Wastepaper and pulp are critical paper raw materials, around

57% of the cost of sales. These costs are subject to fluctuations, affecting profits.

Environmentally regulated: The pulp and paper industry is energy- and water-intensive. Paper mills are regulated by government bodies for their environmental compliance.

Segment mix and market outlook

Writing & printing: Quality printing and writing paper addresses the needs of modern print houses and the education sector (60%). This market segment is growing nominally following digitalisation even as the countrys share of the global writing & printing paper segment is expected to increase from 7% to 11% by 2024. (source: technavio. com)

Packaging grade papers: The global paper packaging market size reached US$ 416.5 Billion in 2022 and is expected to reach US$ 503.1 billion by 2028. More than 49% of the paper produced in India is used for packaging. (source: businesswire.com, care ratings)

Paper cup stock: Paper cups are single-use disposable small container products, popular owing to biodegradability and environmental friendliness. The paper cup market is expected to increase at a 3.10% CAGR from 2023 to 2030, reaching USD 13.55 billion, up from USD 10.61 billion in 2022. The growing popularity of takeaway services and ready-to-eat meals has catalysed demand. (source: databridgemarketresearch.com)

OPTIC FIBRE CABLE INDUSTRY

Global

The global optic fibre cable market is set to grow rapidly, expanding from 538 Million Fibre-kilometers (M F-km) in 2022 to an estimated 655 M F-km by 2027.

Despite concerns about a potential recession, demand forecasts for Europe and USA remain stable. The Asia-Pacific led the way in the optic fibre cable market, driven by growing demand for faster connection speeds and increased bandwidth. (Source: CRU report)

Global growth drivers

Fibre to the Home (FTTH): Worldwide FTTH networks passed 7.9 million additional homes in 2022 despite supply chain and labour constraints, assisted by government funding.

Europe: While the Western European market has seen some softness, it aims to pass 25 million homes by 2026.

USA: In July 2022, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) pledged to invest USD 401 million to provide 31,000 rural residents and businesses in 11 states with access to high-speed internet, catalysing sectorial spending.

China: This countrys cable industry is expected to see demand growth of 8% in 2023, catalysed by the 5G network, infrastructure projects and high-speed internet services demand.

These growth estimates are despite the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, inflation and elevated deployment costs.

Indian Optic fibre cable industry

The India optic fibre market was pegged at USD 471 million in FY2023 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6% to USD 601 million by FY28. The Indian optical fibre market is likely to be catalysed by a continuous reduction in data cost, increasing need for fast networking and network services, growing broadband penetration, rising demand for optical communication and sensing applications and growing adoption of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity. The Indian governments investments in optic fibre network cable (OFC network) infrastructure, Digital India and Smart Cities Mission are expected to expand the market. Besides, the market is expected to be catalysed by National Digital Communications Policy (BharatNet and National Broadband Mission). The Budgetary allocation under the Ministry of Electronics and IT increased 41% over the revised FY23 Budget to INR 4,795 crore in addition to INR 3,000 crore for the development of semiconductors, display manufacturing, sensors, compound semiconductors and silicon semiconductor fabs.

Outlook: The Indian optic fibre cable market is set to experience rapid growth, expanding from 22 Million Fibre-kilometers (M F-km) in 2023 to 30 M F-km by 2027. Despite ordering delays, the India fibre optics market is expected to report attractive growth through the BharatNet program and 5G deployment. (Source: CRU report)

Indian growth drivers

Increasing demand for high-speed internet: With the increasing demand for high-speed internet and data-intensive applications, such as video streaming and cloud-based services, there is a growing need for high-speed and reliable data transmission. Fibre optics cable offers superior data transmission speeds compared to traditional copper cables and infinite bandwidth capabilities making it the preferred choice for high-speed internet and data-intensive applications.

Need for reliable and secure communication: Fibre optics cable is less susceptible to interference and signal degradation compared to copper cables, making it the preferred choice for mission-critical applications that require reliable and secure communication, such as military and aerospace applications. Fibre optics cable is also lightweight, easy to install and more durable.

Technological advancements: The development of new fibre optics technologies, such as bend-insensitive fibres and multi-core fibres, can create new opportunities for the market. These technologies offer improved performance and lower costs, making fiber optics cable more accessible to a wider range of applications with higher capacity.

Sectoral opportunities

Growing adoption of IoT: The increasing adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to create new opportunities for the fibre optics cable market. IoT devices require fast and reliable connectivity and fibre optics cable provides the necessary infrastructure to support these devices.

Expansion of 5G networks: The deployment of 5G networks requires high-speed and reliable connectivity, which can be provided by fibre optics cable.

Overall value: Optic fibre cables offer high speed, bandwidth, reliability, low attenuation and security and require less maintenance compared to copper cables. They are difficult to tap or intercept, ensuring high security.

Sectoral threats

Substitution: There has been lower growth in wired broadband connections following the emergence of wireless mobile internet access.

Competition: The optic fibre cable market is competitive, which can lead to price wars, reduced profit margins and market saturation.

Technological advancement: The optic fibre cable market is exposed to technological advancement; as legacy technologies become obsolete, demand and profits could moderate.

Regulatory changes: Changes in environmental regulations can increase the cost of manufacture and installation, while changes in telecommunications policies can affect demand.

Company overview

West Coast Paper Mills Ltd. (WCPML) is the flagship Company of the fast-growing Industrial business house "SK Bangur Group". The Company is headquartered in Kolkata. Established in 1955, WCPML produces paper products at its manufacturing facility in Dandeli (Karnataka) with a capacity of 320000 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA). The Company is self-sufficient for pulp with a corresponding capacity of 255000 MTPA and a captive power generation capacity of 74.8 megawatts. WCPML distributes products pan-India through dealerships. In FY2020, the Company acquired a majority stake in APL, a Company that manufactures writing, printing and cut-size papers for the domestic and overseas markets. APL had a production capacity of 250000 MTPA as on 31 March 2023.

West Coast Optilinks (WCO), (Division of WCPML) formerly known as Sudarshan Telecom, is a prominent Indian manufacturer and exporter of Optical Fibre Cables. The Company boasts a cutting-edge manufacturing facility located in the Hi-Tech Electronics zone in Mysore. WCO began its commercial operations in 1996 and has since then been producing a wide range of Optical Fiber Cables for various applications. Currently, WCO is in the process of setting up its own Optical Fibre Draw towers factory in Rangareddy, Hyderabad and construction activities are underway. The Company is also constructing a new Optical Fibre cable manufacturing plant at the same site in Rangareddy, Hyderabad, which will be its second facility after Mysore.

Business segments

Paper and paperboard division (93% of revenues): West Coast Paper Mills Ltd. Is a prominent player in the Indian paper industry, producing the finest paper under the WESCO brand. A complement of office stationery, premium printing

COMPANY STRENGTHS Paper segment

Strong market position: West Coast Paper Mills Ltd. enjoys a vast foothold in Indias writing and printing paper segment on account of extensive experience, pan-India dealer network and technical expertise. The Companys paper plant enjoys a production capacity of 3.2 lakh MTPA in Dandeli; the APL plant comprises a capacity of 2.5 lakh MTPA, resulting in a visible market position.

Optic fibre cable segment

Greenfield: The new greenfield plant in Rangareddy will ensure seamless availability of optical fibres which is key raw material for optical fibre cable factories at Mysuru and upcoming Optical Fibre cable factory at Hyderabad.

Robust R&D: The business widened its portfolio to include multiple products addressing telecom networks and utilities, facilitated by its R&D team andproducts and value-added products helped the Company generate 93% revenue from this segment in FY23.

Cables division (7% of revenues): The Companys cables division manufactures

The Companys focus is to develop new value-added products, that will support to enhance the product basket as well as market share.

Integrated: The Company comprises an integrated manufacturing facility comprising pulp, paper, captive power plants and a chemical recovery system, making the cost structure competitive across market cycles.

application engineers. The Company is also developing several products required for the 5G network.

Value-chain: The backward integration into the manufacturing of optical fibres will widen the value chain and enhance competitiveness.

Reference: The Company supplies major telecom companies and network

optical fibre cables in a manufacturing facility in Mysuru, addressing the requirements of the Indian telecom and utilities sector. The Company also exports its Optical fibre cables to various countries in Europe and MEA region.

Capacity utilization: The Company utilizes 98% of its production capacity for the manufacturing of paper and paperboard products, enhancing economies of scale.

Distribution network: The Company comprises 66 longstanding dealers and six zonal offices; it exports to 15+ countries.

integrators for large projects like TANFINET, which aims to connect all Tamil Nadu villages with internet and connectivity. This project is servicing as a reference to be enlisted for similar projects.

Exports: The Company exports optical fibre cables to 25 countries, validating its superior price-value proposition.

Our performance over the years

Operational review

Production

FY2023 FY2022 FY2021 FY2020 FY2019

Paper and paper board segment (Tonnes)

314919 296785 229017 313876 304957

Optical fibre cable segment (Km)

72246 63630 54396 37392 40097

Sales

Paper & paper board (tonnes)

310349 303715 234667 304762 301931

Optical fibre cable (km)

81388 63470 54982 37510 37930

Management Discussion and Analysis (Contd.)

Value impact (production)

In our Paper and Paper Board segment, we achieved a remarkable year-on-year production increase of approximately 6.11%. This growth can be attributed to our ability to meet the rising demand for paper and paperboard products. With production volumes reaching 314,919 tonnes in FY2023, up from 296,785 tonnes in FY2022, we have demonstrated our agility and responsiveness in addressing market demand. This significant increase positions us favourably in the industry, allowing us to capture a larger market share and expand our customer base.

Similarly, in the Optical Fibre Cable segment, we experienced a noteworthy year-on-year production increase of about 13.54%. Our production quantities rose from 63,630 kilometers in FY2022 to 72,246 kilometers in FY2023. This growth showcases our ability to adapt to the growing demand for optical fibre cables and indicates our commitment to staying ahead in a rapidly evolving market. By expanding our production capacity, we are positioned to service the increasing needs of our customers and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Value impact (sales)

In the Paper and Paper Board segment, we witnessed a modest year-on-year increase of around 2.18% in sales volume, with volumes rising from 303,715 tonnes in FY2022 to 310,349 tonnes in FY2023. While the growth rate may seem moderate, it signifies our ability to maintain steady sales and meet customer requirements in a competitive market. This consistent performance positions us attractively for expansion and sustained market presence.

On the other hand, the Optical Fibre Cable segment experienced a substantial year-on-year sales volume increase of approximately 28.23%. Sales volumes rose from 63,470 kilometers in FY2022 to 81,388 kilometers in FY2023, indicating strong market demand for optical fibre cables and our ability to effectively meet and exceed customer expectations. This impressive growth showcases our competitiveness in the segment and our capacity to seize opportunities in the rapidly expanding telecommunications industry.

Financial review Revenues

Year

FY2023 FY2022 FY2021 FY2020 FY2019

Amount ( in Crores)

2,790.86 1,968.80 1,361.82 1,972.51 1,968.52

Value impact: In FY23, our company achieved a noteworthy milestone with total revenues of Rs. 2,790.86 crores, representing an impressive year-on-year growth of approximately 41.75% compared to the previous fiscal years figure of Rs. 1,968.80 crores in FY22. Moreover, the revenue trend over the past five years demonstrates our consistent commitment to generating increased income and expanding our market presence.

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA)

Year

FY2023 FY2022 FY2021 FY2020 FY2019

Amount ( in Crores)

948.06 435.56 201.05 528.79 529.65

Value impact: The significant year-on-year growth by 512.5 crores in our EBITDA for FY2023 highlights a sharp improvement in profitability. This substantial increase is a testament to our success in optimizing operational efficiency, effectively managing costs and achieving higher revenues.

Net profit

Year

FY2023 FY2022 FY2021 FY2020 FY2019

Amount ( in Crores)

582.61 215.7 2.91 271.69 296.31

Value impact: The growth in our net profit in FY 23 of 366.91 crores showcases our ability to enhance profits and net income. This ensures the availability of ample cash for reinvestment, which fosters sustainability and success.

Total Earnings per share (EPS)

Year

FY2023 FY2022 FY2021 FY2020 FY2019

Amount ( in Crores)

88.89 33.02 0.31 41.85 44.82

Value impact: The year-on-year increase of 55.87 in the total EPS demonstrates our potential to generate higher profits for each outstanding share. By consistently generating more earnings per share, we enhance our attractiveness to investors and contribute to the potential growth of our stock value.

Total assets

Year

FY2023 FY2022 FY2021 FY2020 FY2019

Amount ( in Crores)

2,677.17 2,332.35 2,294.58 2,398.27 1,915.41

Value impact: Our company witnessed a year-on-year increase of 344.82 crores in total assets. This rise in our asset base signifies our companys expansion, diversification, and potential to generate prospective revenues.

Net-worth

Year

FY2023 FY2022 FY2021 FY2020 FY2019

Amount ( in Crores)

2050.51 1507.53 1298.44 1295.53 1103.52

Value impact: The net worth, also known as Shareholders Equity or Book Value, of the company, increased by 542.98 crores from the previous year indicating growth in the companys overall value and the shareholders stake. It signifies our ability to generate profits, retain earnings, and manage our liabilities effectively.

Key performance indicators

Particulars

FY 2023 FY 2022 % Change

Comments

Outlook

Debtors turnover (times)

17.63 15.32 15%

Increased due to better sales and a quicker collection of outstanding

Favaourable

Inventory Turnover (times)

10.08 8.16 24%

Increased due to lower average inventory and better product demand

Favaourable

Interest coverage ratio (times)

32.31 8.25 292%

The increase was due to lower interest expenses (repayment of borrowings) and improved performance.

Favaourable

Current Ratio (times)

2.62 1.65 58%

Favourable liquidity due to an increase in current investments and trade receivables.

Favaourable

Debt-equity Ratio (times)

0.08 0.27 -70%

Lower due to debt repayment

Favaourable

Operating Profit Margin (%)

32.11% 20.43% 57%

Favaourable

Net Profit Margin (%)

20.89% 10.99% 90%

The increase is mainly due to overall improved performance

Favaourable

Return on Net Worth %

31.91% 16.82% 90%

Favaourable

Risk management

The Company has implemented a comprehensive risk framework to identify, assess and mitigate risks. The framework comprises risk mapping, trend analysis, risk exposure evaluation and potential impacts assessment. The Board and Risk Management Committee review risks and recommend measures to manage/mitigate, them through a well-defined risk management framework outlined in the Risk Management Policy.

Environmental Sustainability:

The Company invested in a state-of-the- art effluent treatment plant and 100% elemental chlorine-free bleaching in 2010. It complies with all the prescribed norms under the Environment Protection Act, of 1986 and other environmental regulations, including the CREP requirements.

Water and energy conservation:

The Company took measures to reduce water consumption; it decreased specific energy consumption to comply with the norms prescribed under PAT- Cycle-II.

Business environment risk: The mature and capital-intensive paper industry is exposed to competition and unpredictable market dynamics.

Mitigation: To mitigate this risk, the Company ensures adequate access to low-cost resources that make it competitive across market cycles.

Realizations risk: Declining realizations could affect the Companys profitability.

Mitigation: The Company has broad- based its portfolio risk (across writing and printing paper, packaging paper and specialty paper) so that it can capitalise on increased literacy, e-commerce and the growing demand for product packaging.

Raw materials risk: An inability to procure raw materials could impact operations.

Mitigation: The Company implemented a clonal plantation program to augment wood availability; it distributes subsidized seedlings. The company procures 50 percent of its plantation wood from within 300 km.

The Company also procures hardwood (Casuarina, Eucalyptus, Subabul and Acacia) from cultivators in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The Company imports pinewood pulp to manufacture specialty paper.

Quality risk: An inability to address customer demand for quality products could impact the Companys brand.

Mitigation: The Company invested in systems and processes to manufacture quality products. The Company was accredited with ISO 9001:2015 QMS, 14001:2015 EMS, ISO 45001:2018 OHSMS and FSC-certified products, validating its quality commitment.

Human resource risk: Unforeseen talent attrition could affect competitiveness. Mitigation: The Company has implemented various HR initiatives to retain talent apart from conducting structured training programs and succession planning for critical positions. Attrition analysis is being done through the exit interview process.

Liquidity risk: The paper industry is capital-intensive; liquidity risks can be of concern.

Mitigation: The company enjoys healthy cash flows from operations, a strong cash balance and a modestly exercised working capital limit. WCPML can service near-term commitments through accruals while retaining substantial cash.

Environmental risk: Paper mills are regulated to reduce environmental impact; this can warrant costly investments and limit their capacity to grow.

Mitigation: The company installed water-saving measures. Water use per tonne of product declined from 66 m3/ MT in FY2022 to 58 m3/MT in FY2023. The firm obtained pulp wood from private parties, captive plantations, agricultural forestry programs and the Karnataka State Government. The Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody and Forest Stewardship Council Managed Wood certifications for pulp wood validated that the paper made from wood was socially and ecologically responsible.

Internal control systems and their adequacy

The Company has established an efficient internal control system for its business processes to ensure operational efficiency, financial reporting and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Well- defined roles and responsibilities have been institutionalized for all managerial positions. All operating parameters are monitored and controlled and regular internal audits and checks are conducted to ensure effective execution of responsibilities. The

adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control systems are periodically reviewed by the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, which suggests improvements to strengthen them. The Company has implemented a process- driven framework for Internal Financial Controls (IFC) in accordance with the explanation of Section 134(5) (e) of the Companies Act, 2013. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, the Company has sound IFC commensurate with the nature and size of its business operations

Human resources

The employees of the company are considered as its most valuable resource and the company recognizes the importance of aligning human resource practices with business priorities and objectives. The workforce is the key strategic pillar that drives the business processes to attain the companys vision.

The company has maintained a healthy and cordial industrial relationship with its employees, who have been equal partners in implementing company policies and achieving stretched operational targets. During the year, the companys industrial relations remained cordial and the newly elected JNC

Cautionary statement

Statements in this report on Management Discussion and Analysis describing the Companys objectives, projections, estimates, expectations or predictions may be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws or regulations. These statements are based on certain assumptions and expectations

of future events. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied. important factors that could make a difference to the Companys operations include global and domestic demand-supply conditions, finished goods prices, raw material cost and availability, changes in Government regulations, tax

that are operating effectively and no material weakness exists. The Company continuously monitors and identifies gaps, if any and implements new and/or improved controls wherever the effect of such gaps would have a material effect on the Companys operations. The Committee members review the performance of the Statutory Auditors and Internal Auditors and take note of the adequacy of the Internal Financial Control System

demanded permanency of all contract workers and indulged in illegal contract workers strike on 22.02.2023. The issue was resolved amicably. As of March 31, 2023, the company employed 2415 employees.

regimes, macroeconomics and other factors such as litigation and industrial relations. The Company assumes no responsibility to publicly amend, modify or revise any forward-looking statements on the basis of any subsequent developments, information or events