By Accommodation Times
Unitech Ltd. said it has lowered debt by 40% in last two and half years and would further reduce the borrowing in coming quarters from operational cash flows.
“We have reduced our gross debt significantly from over Rs 90 billion in March, 2009 to about Rs 55 billion now. The trend will continue in the next two-three quarters after that we may not need to reduce further,“ Unitech Managing Director Sanjay Chandra told PTI in his first interaction after getting bail in 2G telecom scam.
Besides gradual reduction in debt, he said the company would infuse more funds on construction of ongoing projects for fast execution of about 80 projects across the country. It invested Rs 13 billion on construction last fiscal.
“We do not have any concern on the debt front. Operational performance is leading to continuous reduction in debt and not asset sales,“ Chandra said.
He noted that the company`s debt-equity ratio was in a comfortable position at 0.46% and is very low compared to peer groups.
Unitech has cut debt by nearly Rs 4 billion in the first half of this fiscal.
In 2009-10 fiscal, the company had raised about Rs 45 billion from qualified institutional placement of equity shares, out of which about Rs 22 billion was utilised to cut debt.
After that reduction has been through operational cash flows. On sales performance, Mr Chandra said: “we are not pricing our products too expensive that sales are affected. We should achieve sales booking of Rs 10 billion per quarter despite macro-economic deterioration“.
During the first half of this fiscal, Unitech has sold 3.71 million sq ft of area, mostly residential, worth Rs 20.88 billion. The company has launched projects comprising 6 million sq ft of saleable area and more projects are in pipeline.
Chandra said the company would not shelve its plan to develop 13 shopping malls because of the government`s decision to put on hold its plans to open FDI in multi-brand retail.
“We have nine malls under construction and we have land for another four malls. We will develop these malls,“ he said, adding that the company would invest up to Rs 30 billion in the next five years for this.