Facing huge loan default cases and court summons in India, embattled businessman Vijay Mallya today took to a written statement to tell shareholders of United Breweries that the company will rework its product portfolio including with new launches.
In the statement, which was read out at UBL’s Annual General Meeting here in his absence, Mallya also expressed displeasure over non-inclusion of alcohol in the new Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“UBL will continue to expand capacity either at its existing breweries or by acquisition or building of new ones where required,” as per the Company’s Directors’ Report for the financial year ended March 31, 2016, which was also presented at the AGM.
The report also said in order to cater to increasing demand for its products, the company further expanded its capacity with the Greenfield Brewery near Patna in Bihar that had commenced operation during the course of the year.
It also said the company has acquired brewery assets in a strategic location near Shahjhanpur to further augment capacities in Rajasthan.
“This brewery commenced operations from February 2016 following refurbishment and overhaul,” the report added.
Mallya, who is said to be in the UK despite summons asking him to appear before the courts in India, further said in the statement that the EBITDA for the year under review stood at Rs 7,678 million as compared to Rs 6,584 million in the previous year, reflecting an increase of 17 per cent.
“The growth of EBITDA is the result of the volume growth, improved brand mix and effective management of input costs and fixed costs,” Mallya said.
The beleaguered liquor baron also said the company was in talks with state governments with regard to taxes on alcohol beverages.
As per company directors’ report, the company proposed a dividend of Rs 1.15 per equity share of Re 1 each for the year ended March 31, 2016.
The dividend declared for the previous year was Re 1 per equity share of Re 1 each, the report said.
UBL proposes to transfer Rs 295 million to the general reserve, it said.