Essar Ports net jumps 101% to Rs 90 cr

Essar Ports reported a 101 per cent jump in its net profit to Rs 90.4 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2012 as the cargo handled rose by 44 per cent during the quarter.

The company handled highest ever cargo during the quarter of 14.34 million metric tonne, as against 9.94 million metric tonne in same quarter last year. For the nine months period ending December 31, 2012 the cargo handled rose by 29 per cent to 39.71 million metric tonne.

Total sales during the third quarter of financial year 2013-2014 rose by 33 per cent to Rs 367 crore, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) stood at 294.9 crore as against Rs 219.4 crore same quarter last year.

Essar Ports commissioned its 16 million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA) dry bulk terminal at Paradip, with a fully mechanised ship loading system with a capacity of 5,000 tonnes per hour in December. The terminal is connected to the stockyard by a nine km long covered conveyor system in its fully mechanised stockyard.

During Q3 FY13, the company’s terminals handled 180 ships, as against 114 ships handled for the corresponding quarter in the previous year. Gaurav Pathak and Sashikiran Rao of Standard Chartered Securities (India) said in a report on Essar Ports that the steps taken by the company to strengthen the balance sheet has led them to increase the target price to Rs 146 from Rs 121 per share and maintain their ‘outperform’ rating on the stock.

Analysts said that the Rs 180 crore equity investment by Port of Antwerp, Essar Ports stake increase in Hazira Port to 99 per cent from 76 per cent and the Rs 400 crore debt recast at Hazira Port, helped the company to save around 265 basis points on interest costs.

Rajiv Agarwal, managing director of Essar Ports, said in a results conference that, “With the commissioning of the Paradip dry bulk terminal, and significant progress in our ongoing projects, we have completed almost 80 per cent of our committed capital expenditure plan. We have grown appreciably in revenues and cargo handling during the year, we hope this trend continues in the coming few years as our planned projects keep getting commissioned and cargo keeps growing.”

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