VRL Logistics Ltd is one of the leading logistics service providers in the country. The service offering of the company in the logistics space are Goods transport, Passenger transport and Courier services apart from transport of passenger by Air and Wind Power Generation business. The company has a very well diversified customer base.VRL is a well established brand in the country when it comes to surface transportation and the industry leader in the parcel transportation space. It is also the leading name in the private bus operations industry and one of the biggest private sector operators in this space. With a track record of over four decades, VRL has increased its size and scale of operations and operates on a pan India basis. It has wide network of branches and franchisees and its owned fleet of commercial vehicles with dedicated in-house vehicle body designing and vehicle maintenance facilities to cater to the parcel transportation. The company presently operates across 23 States and 4 Union Territories in India. The company is also one of the largest fleet owners of commercial vehicles in the country and the same enables the company to set unparalleled standards in the movement of less than truck load (LTL) cargo in India in terms of service levels and safety of consignments.
The policy at VRL is to own its vehicles for offering LTL services as also own significant infrastructure facilities comprising of warehouses and maintenance facilities. The company also has a dedicated in-house IT setup. The entire IT infrastructure of the company is operated internally and the in-house developed ERP enables the company to seamlessly operate on an online real time basis across all its business verticals as also have integration with franchisees and select customers. The company also has built up capability to maintain its owned vehicle fleet internally and the cost savings arising out of economies of scale by way of tie-ups with fuel suppliers, vehicle manufacturers for supply of spare parts, tyres etc. as well as ongoing in-house R&D in this domain have enabled the company to utilize its vehicles for a significantly longer term vis-a-vis the industry as also at significantly lesser maintenance costs. The company also benefits from in-house research and development with a capability to try its findings and experiment with newer products and technologies on its owned vehicles.
In the passenger transportation business, their operations are focused on high density urban commuter markets, such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Panjim. They also connect metropolitan and tier-2 cities, such as Hubli, Bijapur, Dharwad, Belgaum, Hospet, Mangalore, Bagalkot, Gulbarga, and Bhatkal. They facilitate the booking of tickets for their passengers through a wide network of agents as well as the internet through leading web based travel agents and the online ticket booking facility on their website.
The company has an extensive network of operations, with 436 owned branches and 423 franchisees in the goods transportation business and 56 owned branches and 515 franchisees in the passenger transportation business as on September 30, 2010, which enables them to provide connectivity even to certain remote locations. As on September 30, 2010 they had a fleet strength of 2,829 owned vehicles for carrying on the goods and passenger transportation business.
VRL Logistics Ltd was incorporated on March 31, 1983 as a private limited company with the name Vijayanand Roadlines Pvt Ltd. Initially, in the year 1976, Vijay Sankeshwar, the promoter, commenced the good transportation business in the State of Karnataka through a proprietary firm. The assets and liabilities of the proprietary firm were subsequently purchased by a private limited company under the name Vijayanand Roadlines Pvt Ltd and thus, the company was formally incorporated.
In the year 1992, the company commenced courier services for time sensitive documents and packages in the State of Karnataka. In the year 1994, the company was converted into a deemed public limited company. In the year 1996, they commenced the passenger transportation service business. In the year 1997, the status of the company was changed from deemed public limited company to a public limited company.
In the year 2003, Vijayanand Printers Ltd became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. In the year 2004, the company acquired Vijayanand Travels, a proprietorship concern, to take over their passenger transportation business. Also, they commenced commercial operations out of owned infrastructure facilities at Varur, Hubli. In the year, the company received ISO 9001:2000 certification for their passengers travel service at Hubli, Bangalore and Belgaum.
In the year 2006, the company commenced their wind power business and installed 34 wind turbine generators with a capacity of 1.25 MW each. The equity and preference shareholding in Vijayanand Printers Ltd was divested in full to Times Group. Also, the company received ISO 9001:2000 certifications for providing logistics services for transportation of cargo, express cargo and courier services.
In the year 2007, the company purchased a Premier 1A aircraft from Hawker Beechcraft Incorporation, USA to commence their air charter business. In the year 2008, they commenced their air charter business for providing services to individuals and corporate passengers.
In the year 2009, the company was awarded the `Best Logistics Service Provider` in the FMCG and retail sectors by Frost & Sullivan. In the year 2010, the company`s power project was registered as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In April 2015, VRL Logistics successfully completed an initial public offering (IPO) which received overwhelming response from the investors and was oversubscribed by more than 74 times thereby making this IPO a historical one. Fresh 5,707,333 equity shares of Rs.10/- each were issued at a premium of Rs. 195/- per share. Apart from the aforementioned fresh issue of shares, NSR PE Mauritius LLC, a private equity investor offloaded 1,45,50,000 equity shares and the promoters offered 25,66,000 equity shares held by them as a part of the said public offering. Shares of the company were listed on both BSE and NSE with effect from 30 April 2015.
During the financial year ended 31 March 2016, the company incurred capital expenditure of Rs.10,127.75 lakhs. Out of the same, a sum of Rs.7754.75 lakhs was invested for fleet addition. Other capex components included a sum of Rs.1382.38 lakhs towards Plant & Office Equipments and Furniture/Fittings, Rs.524 lakhs towards freehold land and Rs.202.26 lakhs towards Building improvement costs. The said capex also included a sum of Rs.264.36 lakhs expended on leasehold improvements.
During the financial year ended 31 March 2017, the company incurred a capital expenditure of Rs 7,856.14 lakhs. Out of the same, an amount of Rs 6,157.01 lakhs was invested on fleet addition. Other capex components included the cost incurred on additions to Buildings, Plant & Equipment, Office Equipment, Leasehold Improvements and Furniture & Fittings.
During the financial year review, the company introduced Fast tags on all its vehicles which resulted into lower advance amounts for trip expenses and considerable discount on the toll costs. Post demonetization, the company took up a renegotiation of terms for all its rented premises and was able to reduce the lease rentals for quite a few of its business premises across the country. During the year under review, the company initiated profitability study of its branches and measures were taken to close 104 non performing branches, while adding 11 new branches. This not only helped in saving costs, but also resulted in consolidation of operations without affecting Goods Transport business turnover. The company also laid due emphasis on prioritizing the deployment of its own fleet thereby reducing dependence on outside vehicles. During the year there was a significant decrease in the distance covered by outside vehicles vis-a-vis the earlier year. To ensure quality of service, the company commenced GPS tracking of outside vehicles
The company also initiated a negotiation with Banks and FIs to reduce the rate of interest pursuant to repo rate cuts by RBI also used the operating cash flows effectively during the year to repay other existing high cost debt. The same led to a decrease in the average interest rate cost and the Net debt levels of the company as of 31 March 2017 stand reduced to Rs 17,396 Lakhs as against a corresponding figure of Rs 24,501 Lakhs for the previous year.
During the financial year ended 31 March 2018, the company incurred a capital expenditure of Rs. 4733.65 lakhs. Out of the same, an amount of Rs. 1759.11 lakhs was invested on fleet addition and comprised of 50 long route Ashok Leyland vehicles as also other smaller vehicles for short haul apart from cars. Other capex components include the cost incurred on additions to Buildings, Plant & Equipment, Office Equipment, Leasehold Improvements and Furniture & Fittings. Apart from the same the Company has also extended substantial advances for purchase of properties at Mangaluru and Surat.
During the financial year review, the company initiated key cost saving measures such as extension of Fast tags on all its vehicles and increase in the procurement of Bio Fuel, Redemption benefits from IOC & utilizing cash back benefits. The company also laid due emphasis on prioritizing the deployment of its own fleet thereby reducing dependence on outside vehicles. During the year, there was a significant decrease in the distance covered by outside vehicles vis-a-vis the earlier year.
The company also initiated a negotiation with Banks and FIs to reduce the rate of interest pursuant to repo rate cuts by RBI also used the operating cash flows of the effectively during the year to repay other existing high cost debts. The same led to a decrease in the average interest rate cost and the Net debt levels of the company as of March 31, 2018 stand reduced to Rs. 6277.58 lakhs as against a corresponding figure of Rs. 17396.35 lakhs for the previous year.
The company has saved monetary outflow of Rs. 89.41 lakhs under the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) plant for enrolling new employees in EPFO and such savings would continue for first three years of such employment.
The Board of Directors of the company at its meeting held on 3 November 2017 approved the buyback of its fully paid up Equity Shares for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs. 4,140 Lakhs for a price not exceeding Rs. 460/- per Equity Share (Maximum Buy-back Price) from the shareholders of the company excluding promoters, promoter group, persons acting in concert and persons who are in control of the Company, payable in cash via the open market route through the stock exchanges. The company completed the Buyback of 9,00,000 equity shares at an average price of Rs. 419.39/- per share on January 30, 2018. The outlay on account of buy-back was Rs. 3774.60/- Lakhs, which represented 91.17% of the amount earmarked for Maximum Buyback Size.