Increase in airport rate at DIAL pushes revenues 90% sustained growth expected to recoup losses of Rs 1,700 crore, says CFO
GMR Infrastructure, whose net loss shot up threefold to Rs 180 crore in the second quarter (July-September), said it had pending receivables of Rs 2,000 crore. Of this, the bulk was from just two entities — Air India and Tamil Nadu government — which owed the firm Rs 1,450 crore.
“Air India owes us Rs 650 crore, including at our airports at Delhi and Hyderabad, while Tamil Nadu owes us Rs 800 crore. The total outstanding for our airport sector is Rs 890 crore, while the power sector has an outstanding of Rs 880 crore. So, when you take into account the receivables of Rs 2,000 crore and the inherent need to provide working capital, we are at a loss,” said A Subba Rao, group chief financial officer, adding the company was in talks with the respective authorities to get the dues cleared.
While revenues at the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) grew a healthy 36 per cent at Rs 1,469 crore, the losses have been reduced substantially to Rs 28 crore for the second quarter from Rs 210 crore. “The increase in airport rate at DIAL is having a good impact and has pushed revenues 90 per cent. With sustained growth, we should be recouping our losses of Rs 1,700 crore over time,” said Rao.
While the company posted an 18 per cent growth in revenues at Rs 2,399 crore, the fact that it is sitting on idle assets in the power sector due to non-availability of gas in the east-coast is taking a huge toll on the firm’s profitability.
“Higher revenues from the operation of airports during the quarter, aided by the revised rate and UDF (user development fees) at DIAL resulted in significant improvement in turnover which, however, was adversely affected by the lower PLF (plant load factor) in power plants due to non-availability of gas from the KG basin,” said G M Rao, group chairman.
The company, with other players hit by this factor, has been discussing with the relevant authorities to do a pooling mechanism with the help of imported gas and locally available gas to fuel the projects. “The cost of the gas from this mechanism will double to $8.4 per mmBtu (million metric British thermal unit). Based on this, we may have to rework the PPAs (power purchase agreements) as well and we are looking at hiking it by around 55 per cent, if things sail through,” said a senior official of GMR Group.
GMR Infrastructure currently has generating capacities of around 880 MW, most of which is gas-based. “During the next two quarters, we should commission around 1,600 Mw based on thermal fuel, which should offset the losses in the gas-based projects until the KG-basis issue is sorted out,” the official added.
The company said it would take key steps by the end of this financial year to deleverage its balance sheet, under a debt of Rs 35,000 crore, with a gearing of 3.2 times.
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