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i-maritime news letter

Essar Ports Q3 net jumps 5 fold to Rs 44.98 cr - 2012-02-06


Ruias promoted Essar Ports on Thursday posted over five fold jump in consolidated net profit to Rs 44.98 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, largely due to increased realisations from its operations.

The company had reported a net profit of Rs 8.21 crore during the corresponding quarter of 2010—11.

Net operating income of the company increased by over 48 per cent to Rs 271.94 crore during the quarter under review vis—a—vis Rs 183.51 crore reported in the Q3 of last fiscal, it said in a filing to the BSE.

“We are happy with our performance, and expect to continue with our high growth trajectory in the coming years...

“The company is on a very sound footing. In fact, our costs per tonne have gone down and it has contributed about 14 per cent in the EBITDA of the company,” Essar Ports’ CEO and MD, Mr Rajiv Agarwal, told reporters in a conference call.

He added that the company is looking to expand overseas and is talking to the Mozambique government for setting up iron ore and coal terminals in that country, which has emerged as a favoured destination for the Indian companies, which are looking for acquiring coal and iron ore mines.

“We expect some outcome in the next three months,” Mr Agarwal said, although he refused to comment on the proposed capacity and investments there.

He added that the company would also decide by December on diluting its promoters’ holding to 75 per cent, as per the SEBI guidelines. Currently, over 83 per cent of the shares are with the company’s promoters.

“We have time till June 2013 to dilute our stake... This (the dilution) will be either fresh offloading or to some financial investor but not to any strategic investor... It should be (taken) by December,” he said.

Moreover, the company is also looking to refinance some of its debt, which currently stands at Rs 5,100 crore and is exploring various options, including going for loans in dollar, Mr Agarwal said, while adding that all expansion projects of the company are on track.

The company has plans to have total port capacity of 158 million tonnes by 2014—15. This includes setting up a coal and iron ore terminal each at the Paradip port in Odisha and a new port at Salaya in Gujarat.

Of this, the iron ore terminal is expected to be commissioned in next quarter, he said, adding that almost half of the construction work at the Salaya port has been done.

During the quarter, the company’s cargo handling was affected due to a shutdown of Vadinar refinery of sister firm Essar Oil for further expansion. Due to this, the company could manage only a marginal increase of 0.04 million tonnes in its total cargo handling to 9.94 million tonnes in Q3, he said.

Source: Hindu Business Line