Billionaire Gautam Adani-led group’s flagship firm Adani Enterprises Ltd on Tuesday reported a swing to profit in quarter ending December 2022 from a loss a year before, and vowed to lower leverage in an attempt to restore investor confidence that has been roiled by a damning report of a US short seller.
The group, whose listed companies have lost over USD 120 billion in market value since Hindenburg Research released the report on January 24, said it had made no “material financial adjustments” owing to the allegations. Adani Enterprise Ltd’s (AEL) consolidated net profit was at Rs 820.06 crore in third quarter of current fiscal compared to a loss of Rs 11.63 crore in the same period a year back, according to a stock exchange filing by the company.
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Revenue surged 42 per cent to Rs 26,612.33 crore. Its so-called integrated resource management — the biggest contributor to top-line and profits — saw a 370 per cent jump in pre-tax profit to Rs 669 crore. Profit from mining and new energy tripled. The airport’s business saw revenues doubling but profitability rising by 29 per cent. Total costs climbed 37 per cent to Rs 26,171.18 crore. The group has been under pressure since the Hindenburg report that accused it of accounting fraud and stock manipulation, allegations that the conglomerate has denied as “malicious”, “baseless” and a “calculated attack on India”.
“Management of the group has assessed that no material financial adjustment arises to the consolidated financial results for the quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2022 with respect to these allegations,” according to notes to the financial statement of AEL. Despite the ports-to-energy conglomerate denying allegations, the report triggered a massive sell-off in the group firms’ shares. “The current market volatility is temporary,” AEL chairman Gautam Adani said in the earnings statement. “As a classical incubator with a vision of long-term value creation, Adani Enterprises will continue to work with the twin objectives of moderate leverage and looking at strategic opportunities to expand and grow.”
Adani said the group’s fundamental strength lies in mega-scale infrastructure project execution capabilities, organisational development and exceptional O&M management skills comparable to the best in the world. “AEL’s exceptional resilience and capacity to build highly profitable core sector business indicate how our strategy of harnessing the diverse strengths of the Adani portfolio of companies is creating consistent long-term value for all our stakeholders,” he said. “Our success is due to our strong governance, strict regulatory compliance, sustained performance, and solid cash flow generation.”
AEL, which incubates new Adani businesses and its current mix spans coal mining, airports, data centres, digital services and metals, had withdrawn a fully-subscribed Rs 20,000-crore share sale as its stock plunged after the Hindenburg report. “In order to protect the interest of the bidders amid volatile market conditions, the board of directors of the parent company decided not to proceed with the FPO and withdrew the red herring prospectus. Accordingly, the entire application bid amounts have been released to the bidders,” the filing said. EBITDA doubled to Rs 1,968 crore in the third quarter.