Lodha Developers cuts debt by Rs 400 cr to Rs 14,500 cr in Q1

NEW DELHI, July 23:  Realty major Lodha Developers has cut its debt by Rs 400 crore during the first quarter of this fiscal to Rs 14,500 crore and plans to reduce it further with the help of strong sales performance, its top official said.
Buoyed by record sales bookings and collection of Rs 2,300 crore and Rs 2,600 crore, respectively, during April- June quarter, Mumbai-based developer targets to cut debt of India business by up to Rs 1,500 crore this fiscal.
“We have reduced our India business debt by Rs 400 crore during the quarter ended June. The current debt level stands at Rs 14,500 crore,” Lodha Group MD Abhishek Lodha told PTI.
“The plan is to reduce debt every quarter. We expect to cut our debt by around Rs 1,500 crore this financial year,” he said, adding that the debt of London business is about 300 million pounds.
Asked about concerns raised by some rating agency on its high debt, Lodha said the company has achieved strong sales bookings in the last fiscal as well as the first quarter of 2017-18 and the collections from customers have been healthy despite overall slowdown in Indian real estate sector.
“Our sales bookings in London have also crossed 200 million pounds. With strong sales and collection numbers, we do not see any problem in debt repayment,” Lodha said.
Last month, Fitch had affirmed Lodha Developers credit rating at ‘B’ and maintained negative outlook. The agency had said that outlook might be revised to ‘Stable’ if the developer addresses its near-term domestic debt maturities, and secure sustained financing for the London project.
On the outlook for this fiscal for India business, Lodha said the company has launched two projects in the first quarter and plans to have 8-10 projects more by March next.
The company has invested Rs 1,100 crore on construction of ongoing projects during April-June and will invest over Rs 3,000 crore in the next three quarters, he added.
Privately-held Lodha Group is currently developing around 41 million sq ft area and has 31 ongoing projects in London, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It has a land bank of 350 million sq ft for future development.
The group had forayed into the London realty market in 2013 and acquired two prime sites in central London for an investment of about 400 million pounds.
In London, the ‘Lincoln Square’ project was launched last year and the second project ‘No 1 Grosvenor Square’, located in the heart of Mayfair, was launched last month.
Lodha UK is eyeing a sales revenue of 1.5 billion pounds (over Rs 12,000 crore) in the next three years from two ongoing housing projects in central London. (PTI)


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