Essar Ports net soars 101% on traffic rise

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 06:25 hrs

Essar Ports has announced a consolidated net profit of Rs 90.4 crore for the quarter ended December, a rise of 101 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

The company's revenue rose 33 per cent to Rs 367 crore, against Rs 276.8 crore in the corresponding quarter a year earlier. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 34 per cent to Rs 295 crore. The company said during the quarter, it handled 14.34 million tonnes (mt) of cargo, a rise of 44 per cent over the year-ago period and the most it had handled in a quarter.

Operating margin for the quarter stood at about 80 per cent, owing to highly mechanised operations, said Chief Financial Officer Shailesh Sawa.

Managing Director Rajiv Agarwal said with the commissioning of the 16-mt iron ore terminal at Paradip Port, the company's capacity stood at 104 mt. He added the company was adding capacity of 54 mt and this was expected to be completed by 2015. "With the commissioning of the Paradip dry bulk terminal and significant progress in our ongoing projects, we have completed about 80 per cent of our committed capital expenditure plan."

He said at the recent Vibrant Gujarat Summit, the company had signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the Gujarat government to invest Rs 10,000 crore in the state. The MoUs are for the Salaya and Hazira ports. The company planned to increase the capacities at these ports beyond the current projections, he said, adding, "This investment will take four to five years."

Hazira port's capacity is 30 mt and the company is expanding it to 50 mt. The 20-mt Salaya port is expected to be completed by December.

At the end of the quarter ended December, Essar Ports' total debt stood at Rs 5,677 crore. As the company is expanding capacity, it doesn't see a fall its debt anytime soon.

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