Suzlon on the brink as debts mount

Suzlon recorded another $100 million-plus loss in the third quarter of its fiscal year, while its debt grew, turbine deliveries ground to a halt and restructuring talks with lenders continued without resolution.

Suzlon logged a delivery volume of just 2MW in the third quarter of its 2019 fiscal year
Suzlon logged a delivery volume of just 2MW in the third quarter of its 2019 fiscal year

The Indian manufacturer posted a INR 7.42 billion ($104 million) loss in the quarter ending 31 December 2019, following a loss of INR 7.78 billion in the previous quarter, and INR 18.55 billion loss for the first nine months of its 2019 fiscal year — down from a INR 12.54 billion loss a year earlier.

It made an operating loss of INR 920 million ($12.9 million) in the quarter — down from a INR 730 million profit a year ago — and a loss of INR 2.73 billion in first nine months of the 2019 fiscal year, down from a INR 2.65 billion profit in 2018.

Suzlon’s Ebitda margin in the quarter was -14% — meaning it made a loss of 14 cents for every dollar it made in sales, compared with +6.7% one year earlier.

The company's net debt grew to INR 129 billion ($1.8 billion) by the end of the quarter, up from INR 122.57 billion three months earlier.

In a report attached to Suzlon’s Q3 financials, auditors Deloitte, Haskins and Sells stated low volumes, finance costs and provision for impairment had hit the manufacturer’s financial performance.

Suzlon logged a delivery volume of just 2MW in the quarter, 49MW in the first nine months of the fiscal year, and was also overtaken as India’s top supplier in the calendar year.

It cancelled 632.1MW of orders due to “teething troubles of land, power evacuation and other constraints”. Suzlon now has an order book of 857MW, which it stated is worth INR 44 billion.

The company’s lenders are still considering a restructuring plan that would split its sustainable and unsustainable debt.

Suzlon has defaulted in making payments to “most” of its creditors — for an outstanding total of INR 12.95 billion — and some lenders had filed for insolvency proceedings against the manufacturer, Deloitte stated in its report.

However, the auditor added it currently expects Suzlon’s restructuring plan to be settled by the end of its 2019 fiscal year on 31 March 2020.

In its report, Deloitte, warned — as it did three months ago — that the manufacturer’s ability to continue “as a going concern” depends on the acceptance and success of its restructuring plan.

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