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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Adani to focus on infrastructure play

Gautam Adani said India is marching towards a $10 trillion economy by 2032, with the infrastructure sector to grow 20-25 per cent to reach $2.5 trillion

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 25.06.24, 09:07 AM
Gautam Adani

Gautam Adani Sourced by the Telegraph

Gautam Adani on Monday said his ports-to-energy conglomerate is in robust financial health and is set to become stronger on the country’s spending in infrastructure development.

He said India is marching towards a $10 trillion economy by 2032, with the infrastructure sector to grow 20-25 per cent to reach $2.5 trillion.

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As an infrastructure company “at the very core”, the Adani group is “well positioned to capitalise on the upcoming opportunities”.

He pointed to record EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation & amortisation), profits and a big fall in the group’s net debt.

The billionaire industrialist was addressing shareholders at the annual general meeting of flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) on Monday.

``We achieved an unprecedented milestone in 2023-24. We recorded our highest EBITDA of 82,917 crore — or approximately $10 billion — a remarkable surge of 45 per cent. This exceptional performance drove our profit after tax to a record high of 40,129 crore, marking a substantial 71 per cent growth,” Adani said.

“Our net debt to EBITDA fell from 3.3 times to 2.2 times over the past year. And all of this resulted in an all-time-high level of liquidity for the group with a cash balance of 59,791 crore,’’ he said.

He said these metrics showed its highly stable infrastructure platform and led to a series of rating and outlook upgrades. At present, three of the group’s listed firms — Ambuja Cements, ACC, and APSEZ – are AAA rated.

Adani also brought up the serious allegations made by Hindenburg Research last year. ``We were faced with baseless accusations made by a foreign short seller that questioned our decades of hard work. In the face of an unprecedented attack on our integrity and reputation, we fought back and proved that no challenge could weaken the foundations on which your group has been established.’’

According to Adani, while short sellers target gains from financial markets, the accusations made by Hindenburg were different. “It was a two-sided attack — a vague criticism of our financial standing and, at the same time, an information distortion campaign, dragging us into a political battlefield,” he observed.

The report came two days before AEL’s 20,000 crore follow-on public offer - the largest ever in India - closed in January 2023. “Amplified by a segment of vested media, it was designed to defame us, do maximum damage and erode our hard-earned market value,” he said, adding that “given the noise”, the group returned proceeds from the offering after successfully raising 20,000 crore.

On its ambitious plans, he cited the 30GW renewable energy park the group is developing at Gujarat’s Khavda.

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