Better than peers

September 6, 2012

While the construction sector is going through a rough phase for the last two financial years, Simplex Infrastructure Ltd has done relatively better than its peers like IVRCL Infrastr-uctures and Projects Ltd, NCC and Hindustan Construction Co. Not only has the company exhibited consistently strong execution with topline growth of over 20 per cent, but it has also witnessed lesser pressure on the bottomline despite high interest costs. However, with increasing exposure to BOT (build-operate-transfer) projects, the company’s debt levels are on the rise, which is seen as the biggest risk.

Nevertheless, analysts remain positive on Simplex despite the challenges continuing for the construction sector. Says Parvez Akhtar Qazi, analyst at Edelweiss Securities: “Simplex is one of the few pure contracting plays available in the construction industry.” Adds Deepak Purswani, analyst at ICICI Direct: “Its strong well-diversified order book, relatively lower equity commitment towards subsidiary and execution capabilities make it a strong candidate for re-rating in multiples when the macro environment improves.” The stock, which has done better than its peers (except for IVRCL, which had gained on news of possible takeover Essel group) in the last one year, is likely to sustain its lead going ahead.

Consistently better performance
Simplex exceeded analysts’ expectations in the June quarter, wherein its performance was even better compared to FY12. The June quarter was the fourth consecutive quarter of revenues growing in excess of 25 per cent. The company has been able to report better performance (compared to its peers) partly due to its well-diversified and balanced order book in terms of sectors, clients and geographies.

In Rs crore FY13E FY14E
Net sales 6669.3 7459.7
% change y-o-y  13.1 11.9
Operating profit 591.7 663.0
% change y-o-y  29.0 12.1
Net profit 103.8 118.0
% change y-o-y  16.4 13.6
EPS (Rs) 21.0 23.8
P/E (x) 9.1 8.0
E: Estimates                    

The top three sectors contribute 70 per cent of total order book with building and housing (25 per cent) having the biggest contribution followed by roads and power (each 23 per cent). Also, the company has lower presence in capital intensive and high gestation BOT projects. Says Nitin Arora, analyst at Angel Broking: “Simplex is a well-diversified player in terms of sectors, geographies and client mix and, unlike its peers, has limited exposure to road BOT assets.”

In Rs crore Simplex IVRCL NCC* HCC
FY12 Q1′ FY13 FY12 Q1′ FY13 FY12 Q1′ FY13 FY12* Q1′ FY13
Net sales 5,897.6 1,585.3 4,971.0 NA 6,665.0 1,793.0 8,158.0 969.4
% change y-o-y  23.8 25.7 -12.0 NA 7.0 11.9 14.1 -8.4
Operating profit 458.6 126.9 377.0 NA 897.5 204.5 423.5 68.9
% change y-o-y  -2.5 5.7 -26.6 NA 25.5 -40.7 -26.0 -50.1
Net profit 89.2 20.1 36.0 NA 54.9 20.3 -364.0 -40.5
% change y-o-y  -27.6 -16.5 -77.2 NA -75.0 -35.0 NA PTL
* Consolidated; NA is not available; PTL is Profit to Loss                                                                             Source: Companies


But, some concerns emerging
Though the company’s order book of Rs 15,500 crore gives revenue visibility of 2.3 times (based on FY13 estimated sales), the same has grown only 5.5 per cent since FY11-end. Also, 55 per cent of total order inflow (Rs 1,870 crore) in the June quarter was from in-house road BOT project. With slowing economic growth, order inflows remain a concern across the sector, including for Simplex. The management expects order inflow and order book to remain flattish if the environment continues to remain challenging. Acco-rdingly, it has given a top line growth guidance of 10-15 per cent in FY13 despite good show on the topline front in the June quarter.

Further, the company’s debt at Rs 2,400 crore as on June 30 was higher than Rs 2,130 crore at FY12- end. Its debt to equity ratio at 1.8 times is also expected to rise due to its increasing BOT presence and growing working capital requirements. While it has added two road BOT projects to its existing three totalling to five road assets worth Rs 4,000-odd crore in the June quarter, its working capital cycle also worsened to 132 days as compared to 113 days in March 2012 quarter.

Says Abhinav Bhandari, analyst at Elara Securities: “The present net debt to equity ratio threatens to reach 2.5 times over next four-six quarters considering no major easing in the operating and financing environment, coupled with pending equity infusion across existing assets over the next 24-30 months.” Analysts feel rising leverage could negate the impact of strong topline growth and good operational performance.



HCC arm bags 3 NHAI orders

February 15, 2010

HCC Infrastructure, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) has bagged three projects by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to develop three contiguous sections of nearly 256 km in length between Bahrampore and Dalkhola on NH-34 in West Bengal on a BOT (Toll) basis.

The special purpose companies, which will be implementing these projects under HCC, will get a capital grant of Rs 1,033 crore during the construction period, according to HCC’s official spokesman. In the wake of these contracts HCC’s order book position has move up by nearly Rs 2,860 crore, he said.

The first BOT contract entails the development of the existing two lanes to four lanes in the Baharampore and Farraka section of NH-34 (103 km) on a design, built, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis. The second BOT contract includes the development of the existing two lanes to four lanes on the Farraka and Raiganj section of NH-34 (103 km) on a DBFOT basis.

The third BOT contract involves the development of the existing two lanes to four lanes on the Raiganj and Dalkhola section of NH-34 (50 km), also on a DBFOT basis. The HCC spokesman said that the little over one year old HCC Infrastructure has also crossed the Rs 5,000 crore mark in terms of assets under management (AUM), following these orders. HCC Infrastructure’s portfolio now stands at Rs 5,500 crore with 6 BOT road projects.


HCC joint venture bags Rs639-crore Andhra irrigation project contract new

July 31, 2008

Mumbai: Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) jointly with SEW Infrastructures Ltd and Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) has bagged a Rs639-crore contract for building a barrage of around 3.5 km on river Pranahita near Tummidi Hetti village in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh.

HCC will have a share of Rs326.03 crore in the work being undertaken for the Pranahitha-Chevella Package-3 being undertaken by the Irrigation & Command Area Development (ICAD) department of the government of Andhra Pradesh.

The contract covers detailed investigation, preparation of designs, drawings and construction of a barrage including fixing of gates, head regulator and 500 meter long gravity canals. The project will be completed in 48 months.

The project is a part of the government’s ‘Jalayagnam’ programme, an initiative to provide immediate irrigation benefits to all underdeveloped regions of Andhra Pradesh.

Pranahitha-Chevella lift irrigation scheme will irrigate an ayacut of 12.20 lakh acres and provide drinking water to about 1,000 villages in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts in Telangana region.

HCC is currently involved in construction of Godavari lift irrigation phase I and Phase II in Andhra Pradesh where Phase I has already been commissioned and phase II is in advanced stages of completion. In addition, HCC is currently executing four major projects in Andhra Pradesh, including the country’s first cavern for strategic storage of crude oil at Visakhapatnam, the Veligonda lift irrigation project, the Rajiv Sagar lift irrigation project and a 30 km highway of NHAI on NH-7 under north-south corridor on BOT basis.

HCC constructed the first bridge over the river Godavari at Shahgar, in Andhra Pradesh way back in the 1930s. Since then it has built several infrastructure projects, including the Godavari Barrage at Rajahmundry, the Papavinasam Dam, the Vizag Monolith & West Wall Protection and the Railway Bridge over Godavari which is the first and only bow-string bridge in India, the company said in a release.

HCC has so far constructed over 45 dams, barrages and 15 powerhouses in the sub continent, contributing to over 30 per cent of the country’s installed hydropower capacity.