Realty firm Godrej Properties' net debt rose 56 per cent during the July-September period to Rs 2,733 crore from the previous quarter and is likely to rise further as the company continues to invest in acquiring new projects.
In an analyst presentation, the company said its net debt stood at Rs 2,733 crore as on September 30, 2020, as against Rs 1,752 crore at the end of the June quarter.
Net debt stood at Rs 1,159 crore at the end of the last financial year.
The net debt/equity ratio stood at 0.57 per cent while the average borrowing cost was 7.55 per cent.
According to a transcript of a conference call with analysts, Godrej Properties Executive Chairman Pirojsha Godrej indicated that debt numbers could rise further.
"I think we expect net debt to go to about 1:1, and that''s the level that we should expect it to see over the next few quarters," he said.
Godrej said the company's operating cash flow will improve in the second half of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
"Our expectation is that Q3 itself will see much better operating cash flow generation than in the first half, and that will continue. But clearly, the BD (business development) investments will also continue, so, I think we do expect to see net debt continue to go up, as has always been the intention with these investments," he said.
To expand its presence, Godrej Properties has been purchasing land in major cities including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Pune.
Last month, Godrej Properties bought about 15-acre land in Bengaluru. in September, it acquired 20-acres land in Kalyan, Mumbai.
The company had in March acquired 43.61-acres of land in Faridabad, Haryana, from local builder BPTP.
According to the presentation, Godrej Properties' sales bookings fell 26 per cent to Rs 1,074 crore in the September quarter, but grew 11 per cent to Rs 2,605 crore in the first six months of the current financial year.
Total sales bookings in value terms fell to Rs 1,074 crore in the second quarter of this fiscal, from Rs 1,446 crore in the year-ago period.
During April-September period of the current fiscal, sales booking rose to Rs 2,605 crore, from Rs 2,343 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. The residential segment contributed sales worth Rs 2,600 crore while commercial projects accounted for Rs 5 crore.
Godrej Properties, the real estate arm of the business conglomerate Godrej Group, has recently reported a 78 per cent fall in its consolidated net profit at Rs 7.10 crore for the quarter ended September. Its net profit stood at Rs 31.57 crore in the year-ago period.
Total income for the second quarter of this fiscal also fell to Rs 250.23 crore, from Rs 395.11 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
"The real estate sector continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we believe this provides Godrej Properties with a tremendous opportunity to drive market share growth in residential real estate," Godrej had said, commenting on the financial results.
He said the company's planned launches in the second quarter were postponed due to delays in regulatory approval.
"With a robust launch pipeline in the second half of the financial year, we expect strong sales momentum during this period," Godrej had said.