Gas shortage pushes India's GVK Power into 8th straight quarterly loss

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 14, 2013 07:31 hrs

India's GVK Power and Infrastructure posted a worse-than-expected quarterly net loss - its eighth in a row - as gas shortage left its power plants running far below their normal capacity and saddled the company with debt.

Net loss widened to 571.9 million rupees ($9.01 million) in the second quarter of the fiscal year, from a loss of 436.6 million in the same period last year, and worse than an average loss of 360 million rupees forecast by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The company, whose interests span coal mining in Australia, airports in some of India's biggest cities, and highway construction, has asked lenders to reschedule more than $200 million worth of loans to its power business. It is also looking for buyers for a stake in its airport businesses in order to mend its balance sheet.

Its current problems mirror a wider slowdown in an infrastructure construction industry that the Indian government sees as crucial to the country's economic prospects but that has been throttled by red tape and operational bottlenecks.

Also hit by gas shortage, rival GMR Infrastructure's net loss widened in the July-September quarter. The company has also sold off a $35 million highway stake in September to help improve its finances.

Shares in GVK were up 2.7 percent at 06:55 GMT in a Mumbai market that gained 1.6 percent. ($1 = 63.4850 Indian rupees)

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