Vedanta’s Profit Tumbles as India Lockdown Hurts Output, Demand

Billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Indian commodities conglomerateVedanta Ltd. posted a 23.5% drop in quarterly profit as one of the world’s strictest lockdowns hit production and demand.

Group net income slumped to 10.33 billion rupees ($141 million) in the three months to June from 13.51 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said in a statement late Saturday. Sales fell 25.9% to 156.87 billion rupees.

Key Insights

  • Vedanta’s main businesses include zinc, aluminum and oil and gas, all of which have been hit by a slump in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Agarwal’s London-based Vedanta Resources Ltd. is in the process of taking Mumbai-listed Vedanta private by buying out minority shareholders to simplify his investments.
  • Vedanta Resources is in talks with banks for a further$600 million to finance the delisting after already securing $3.15 billion in loans and bonds, according to people familiar with the information.
  • Vedanta had net debt of 247.87 billion rupees at the end of June.
  • Vedanta’sHindustan Zinc, also Asia’s most valuable zinc producer, reported a 23% drop in June-quarter profit on lower prices and production.
  • India’s economy posted itsworst slump in the three months ended June as disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak brought Asia’s third-largest economy to a halt. Economists expect growth to shrink in the year through March 2021, in the first such contraction in more than four decades.

Market Reaction

  • Shares of Vedanta rose 0.4% on Thursday to close at 137.45 rupees in Mumbai. The stock has slid 9.8% this year compared with a 6.2% fall in BSE benchmark index.
  • Analysts have 11 buy recommendations on the company, 4 holds and 0 sells, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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