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Adani Portfolio posts record 63.6 per cent profit growth, sets stage for unrivalled green investments

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Ahmedabad, Feb 29 (IANS) The Adani Portfolio of companies on Thursday reported a record quarterly profit growth of 63.6 per cent (year-on-year), as trailing 12-month EBITDA (as of December 2023) stood at Rs 78,823 crore ($9.5 billion), which is 2.5 times the EBITDA in FY21 and 37.8 per cent higher than FY23 EBITDA.

The company said that high liquidity is maintained with a healthy cash balance of Rs 44,572 crore ($5.4 billion) at the end of December 31, 2023.

The core infrastructure platform generated Rs 66,208 crore ($8 billion) EBITDA over the last 12 months — up 35.4 per cent YoY, the company said in a statement.

The record profit came as domestic and international rating agencies, including S&P Global and Moody’s, have upgraded or positively revised the outlook for all key Adani portfolio companies.

Adani Group Founder and Chairman Gautam Adani has said he will invest an estimated $100 billion into India’s green energy transition over the next 10 years, with plans to scale up to 10 GW of solar manufacturing capacity by 2027.

According to the company, the portfolio continues to remain conservatively leveraged with net debt to EBITDA as low as 2.5 times, debt coverage of 2.1 times, and gross assets to net debt at 2.5 times (as on September 30, 2023).

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Higher ratings and healthy cash flows have allowed continued market access, facilitating substantial investments in the year-to-date (April 1, 2023-December 31, 2023).

During this period, various portfolio companies have drawn funds worth Rs 91,290 crore from various sources, including international and domestic banks, and others, the company informed in its financial results.

For Adani Enterprises Limited (AEL), the emerging infrastructure businesses, including the ANIL ecosystem (green hydrogen ecosystem), airports and roads, have picked up momentum over the past few quarters and now contribute 45 per cent of AEL’s total EBITDA.

Another emerging business, the green energy-powered data centre, is also progressing well, according to the company.

ANIL has received COD certification from the Solar Energy Corporation of India for setting up electrolyser manufacturing.

“Solar module sales have more than doubled due to higher exports. The wind turbine generator (WTG) business, with an order book of 142 sets, has already produced 15 sets and delivered 7 since commissioning,” the company said.

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At the seven operational airports, passenger movement has increased 23 per cent (YoY) in the first nine months to 65.6 million and is now tracking an annual figure of 85 million.

The greenfield Navi Mumbai airport is well on track to start operations by December this year.

For Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL), the operational renewable capacity has increased to 9,029 MW after the commissioning of 551 MW at the Khavda renewable energy (RE) park in Gujarat.

It will be the world’s largest RE park after 30 GW is developed over the next five years and can power over 16 million homes and create 15,200 jobs every year.

Adani Green Energy in December announced that the promoters of the company would infuse Rs 9,350 crore into it through preferential issuance of warrants at a price of Rs 1,480.75 per share.

Adani Energy Solutions Limited (AESL), another portfolio company, has successfully operationalised the critical Kharghar Vikhroli Transmission Line to connect Mumbai to the national grid, taking the total network to 20,422 ckm.

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Adani Electricity Mumbai, a distribution subsidiary of AESL, supplied 35 per cent renewable power in the total electricity mix to the city – one of the highest amongst all global mega-cities.

For Adani Total Gas Limited (ATGL), the pipeline network increased to 11,712-inch km, PNG connections to 7.79 lakh, and EV charging stations to 329. A total of 45 new CNG stations were also added.

For the Adani Ports & SEZ (APSEZ) portfolio company, domestic cargo handled grew 23 per cent YoY, achieving a record volume of 311 MT for the first nine months. It is on track to beat the annual volumes guidance.

During the period, Adani Cements added 15 per cent or 8.6 MTPA capacity, taking total capacity to 77.4 MTPA (76.1 MTPA under Ambuja and 1.3 MTPA under AEL).

On the ESG (environmental, social and governance) front, AGEL was ranked first in ESG assessment with an improved score for the second consecutive year, informed the company.

–IANS

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EPFO adds record 18.92 lakh members in April reflecting rise in jobs

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has added 18.92 lakh net members during April this year which is the highest since the first payroll data was published in April 2018, according to figures released by the Ministry of Labour and Employment on Thursday.

The number of net members added shot up by 31.29 per cent over the corresponding figure for March 2024, the provisional payroll data shows.

The year-on-year analysis reveals a growth of 10 per cent in net member additions compared to April 2023.

This surge in membership can be attributed to increased employment opportunities, a growing awareness of employee benefits, and the effectiveness of EPFO’s outreach programmes, the Ministry said.

The data indicates that around 8.87 lakh new members have enrolled during April 2024.

A noticeable aspect of the data is the dominance of the 18-25 age group, constituting a significant 55.5 per cent of the total new members added in April 2024.

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This is in consonance with the earlier trend which indicates that most individuals joining the organised workforce are youth, primarily first-time job seekers.

According to the payroll data, approximately 14.53 lakh members exited and subsequently rejoined EPFO.

This figure represents a 23.15 per cent increase compared to the previous month of March 2024.

These members switched their jobs and re-joined the establishments covered under the ambit of EPFO and opted to transfer their accumulations instead of applying for final settlement, thus, safeguarding long-term financial well-being and extending their social security protection.

Gender-wise analysis of payroll data unveils that out of 8.87 lakh new members, around 2.49 lakh are new female members.

Also, the net female member addition during the month stood at around 3.91 lakh reflecting an increase of approximately 35.06 per cent compared to the previous month of March 2024.

The surge in female member additions is indicative of a broader shift towards a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

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State-wise analysis of payroll data denotes that net member addition is highest in the five states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Haryana.

These states constitute around 58.3 per cent of net member addition, adding a total of 11.03 lakh net members during the month.

Of all the states, Maharashtra is leading by adding 20.42 per cent of net members during the month.

Besides, out of the total net membership, around 41.41 per cent addition is from expert services (consisting of manpower suppliers, normal contractors, security services, miscellaneous activities etc.)

The payroll data is provisional since the data generation is a continuous exercise, as updating employee record is a continuous process.

–IANS

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Scarce rain, excessive heat caused fall in tea production in Assam, Bengal: Industry

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Guwahati, June 20 (IANS) Insufficient rainfall and excessive heat are hampering production of tea to a great extent during the current cropping season in Assam and West Bengal, industry sources said on Thursday.

Industry body Tea Association of India (TAI) said that the data released by the Tea Board of India indicates a production drop of around 8 per cent in Assam and around 13 per cent in West Bengal up to April this year as against the same period last year.

TAI President Sandeep Singhania said that due to lack of rainfall and high temperature, the tea growing regions of West Bengal and Assam have witnessed significant wilting of tea bushes, which indicated a further crop loss in the coming months.

He said that as reported by the member tea estates of the association, the growers of Assam and West Bengal are estimated to be behind by around 20 per cent and 40 per cent respectively during the month of May as against the same period last year.

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Singhania said that the data published by India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the period from March 1 to May 31 has shown significantly less rainfall in the range of 50 per cent to 80 per cent in the major tea growing districts of West Bengal and 10 per cent to 30 per cent in Assam as against normal rainfall received by the districts in the same period earlier.

Since, tea is a rain-fed crop, not receiving sufficient rain during these important months hampers the production of its premium first flush and second flush during this time and loss of crop during this period will severely affect the cash flows of the companies, the TAI President said.

The much-awaited rainfall was finally received in the tea growing districts of Assam and West Bengal with the southwest monsoon reaching sub-Himalayan West Bengal and northeast India on May 30-31 covering most parts of both the states, nearly a week ahead of schedule.

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The TAI said that post the onset of monsoon, both the states have witnessed profuse rainfall during the first fortnight of the month of June and as per the data released by the IMD, the tea growing districts of West Bengal and Assam have already received 15- 66 per cent and 3-20 per cent more rainfall respectively compared to normal rainfall for the month.

Excessive rainfall coupled with practically no sunshine during the day has again hampered the crop production in both the states.

As reported by most of the tea estates, the production in West Bengal is behind by 25 per cent to 40 per cent and in Assam around 10-15 per cent as against last year during the first fortnight of June.

The combined fall in the tea production till the end of June (this year) is projected to be less by around 60 million kgs in the region as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

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The crop that has been lost is primarily of the first and second flush – which are the best quality teas for the year. This is definitely going to impact the revenue of the producers for the year, Singhania pointed out.

–IANS

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FM Nirmala Sitharaman holds pre-Budget meeting with India Inc.

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday chaired the third pre-budget consultation with industry leaders and associations in connection with the forthcoming General Budget 2024-25 here on Thursday.

The pre-budget consultation meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary, Finance Secretary, and Secretary, Department of Expenditure; Secretaries of Departments of Economic Affairs, DPIIT, Ministry of Heavy Industry and Ministry of MSME as well as the government’s Chief Economic Adviser.

Apex business chamber, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has in its wish list for the Union Budget 2024-2025 urged the government to maintain corporate tax rates at current levels to provide tax certainty for businesses.

CII is also seeking rationalisation of Angel Tax by removing Section 56(2)(viib) in order to further nurture innovation & startups. According to the industry chamber, the scrapping of this section would “greatly aid in capital formation” for the startup sector.

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Under Section 56(2)(viib) of the Income Tax Act, for a startup to become eligible for angel tax exemption must meet certain conditions which industry claims are cumbersome and come in the way of attracting more investments.

As far as indirect taxation is concerned, CII has in its proposals sought the removal of the restriction to avail ITC (input tax credit) “to ensure seamless flow of credit to businesses where the property being constructed is being used for further providing an output service (such as renting, etc.”

CII has also sought the rationalisation and simplification of the Capital gains tax rate structure.

Besides, the apex business chamber is seeking the rationalisation of stamp duty on land and phasing out the cross-subsidy on power rates to “reduce the cost of doing business”.

CII has also suggested that captive power plants (CPPS) should be brought at par with the power sector for coal pricing, allocation, and transportation.

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It is also seeking a phasing out cross-subsidisation of railway passenger fares by freight to cut logistics costs for businesses.

In the pre-budget consultation meeting with the Finance Minister on Thursday, Subhrakant Panda, Immediate Past President, highlighted the importance of simplification of the tax system.

He said: “The Union Budget should continue the process of simplification and rationalisation of taxes for enhancing ease of doing business. This will also reduce tax related litigations and improve efficiency in the taxation system.”

He also emphasised the need to continue supporting the growth momentum by energising demand, laying thrust on infrastructure development, taking further measures to rein in food inflation, supporting MSMEs and prioritising innovation, and research & development in the country.

In its pre-budget memorandum presented to the Finance Minister, the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) said that calibrated steps to enhance domestic sources of growth would be crucial to maintain a higher economic trajectory of the country.

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The budget can further stimulate manufacturing sector growth to boost GDP contribution to beyond 25 per cent, fueled by the increasing export trend in high-technology products, it added.

The industry body suggested expanding the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme beyond the 14 sectors to include medicinal plants, handicrafts, leather and footwear, gems and jewellery and the space sector, among others.

–IANS

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Greece aims at tenfold increase in electric taxis in Athens by 2026

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Athens, June 20 (IANS) Greece aims to increase the number of electric taxis circulating in the Athens wider area tenfold by 2026, as part of efforts for a shift to climate-friendly electromobility, officials said.

Currently, only 100 out of 13,661 taxis in Athens are electric. The target of a program formally launched on Wednesday is to increase this number to at least over 1,000 within the next 18 months through the support of the state and the private sector, Xinhua news agency reported.

Under the existing Green Taxi scheme, which was announced last year and expires in 2025, taxi drivers can receive subsidies of up to 22,500 euros (24,189 US dollars), amounting to about 40 per cent of the cost of a new electric taxi, said Christos Staikouras, infrastructure and transport minister.

“It is funded by the Recovery and Resilience Fund, and the budget can cover the replacement of up to 1,770 old, polluting taxis with electric ones. The precondition is the withdrawal of the old vehicle,” he said.

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A total of 40 million euros (42.8 million dollars) are available. So far, just 100 applications have been submitted, he added.

In order to step up the pace, a supplementary program named Zap Taxi Club was created by the private sector in coordination with the state. It offers taxi drivers the additional funds needed to take the step through a leasing proposal by the leasing branch of National Bank, one of the systemic banks in Greece.

With a monthly fee in combination with the state subsidy, taxi drivers can eventually own a new electric car within a few months. They can choose between vehicles manufactured by seven companies, including Chinese BYD.

In parallel to the Green Taxi program, the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry also subsidises the purchase of electric cars by non-professionals and some 28 million euros (30 million dollars) have already been allocated, they said.

–IANS

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Sensex jumps 141 points, Nifty closes above 23,550

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Mumbai, June 20 (IANS) India’s benchmark indices closed in the green on Thursday following a rally in metal and banking stocks.

At closing, Sensex settled at 77,478, up 141 points or 0.18 per cent, and Nifty was up 51 points or 0.22 per cent, at 23,567.

Banking stocks were also up during the day. Nifty Bank closed at 51,783, up 385 points or 0.75 per cent.

Buying was seen in midcap and smallcap stocks on Thursday. The Nifty Midcap 100 index was up 522 points or 0.95 per cent at 55,473 while the Nifty Smallcap 100 index was up 110 points or 0.61 per cent at 18,266.

JSW Steel, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Reliance, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Asian Paints, and HUL were the top gainers on the day while M&M, Sun Pharma, NTPC, SBI, Wipro, and Bharti Airtel were the top losers.

Among the sector indices, Metal, Banks, Realty and FMCG were major gainers. Auto, pharma, and PSU Bank were major losers.

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According to market experts, “Despite experiencing significant volatility, the domestic market concluded the day positively. In the near term, market attention is expected to centre around the upcoming Union budget and the progress of the monsoon.”

“On the global front, the decline in US bond yields has facilitated robust FII inflows in recent days. The fertilizer stocks exhibited good momentum, driven by the proposed removal of GST & hike in MSP,” analysts said.

–IANS

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