With a track record of targeting prominent corporations, Hindenburg Research accused the Adani Group of ” stock manipulation” and accounting fraud a year ago. This accusation triggered a stock market downturn that resulted in the Adani Group losing approximately USD 150 billion in market value at its lowest point.

However, unlike other companies previously targeted by Hindenburg, Gautam Adani, the tycoon behind the Adani Group, managed to regain control of the narrative following the damaging January 24, 2023, Hindenburg report. 

This was achieved through the strong performance and solid business fundamentals of his conglomerate. Additionally, investors continued to show confidence by investing in the diverse range of businesses within the Adani Group.

The conglomerate vigorously denied all allegations while restructuring its strategy, which included reducing debt through prepayments and repayments, decreasing the founder’s share pledge, and attracting both promoter and prominent investor equity.

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This strategy appears to be yielding positive results, as the share prices of several of the group’s ten listed companies have rebounded, recovering all the losses incurred following the Hindenburg report.

For instance, Adani Ports and SEZ, one of the Adani Group’s firms, saw its shares plummet to an all-time low of ₹498.85 when the Hindenburg report was released. Subsequently, the shares surged to nearly ₹1349, marking an increase of almost 170 percent. In this article, we will delve deeper into this company to assess its future prospects.

Corporate Overview Of Adani Ports

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) holds the distinction of being India’s largest port developer and operator. As of March 31, 2023, it boasts a total operating capacity of 558 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) across 11 domestic operating ports and terminals.

Promoted by the Adani Group, APSEZ operates in six maritime states of India: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha, as of March 31, 2023.

The company’s domestic ports and terminals contribute to approximately one-fourth of India’s total port capacity. APSEZ efficiently manages significant cargo volumes from both coastal areas and the hinterland, solidifying its position as a key player in India’s maritime industry.

In addition to its current operations, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) is embarking on the development of a container transshipment port at Vizhinjam in Kerala.

APSEZ strategically allocates its operating ports and terminal capacity between the west and east coasts of India, with 60% situated on the west coast and the remaining 40% on the east coast.

With an ambitious vision for the future, APSEZ aims to emerge as India’s largest integrated transport utility company and the world’s largest private port company by 2030. Demonstrating its commitment to environmental sustainability, the company has set a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

Business Segments Of Adani Ports

Port Business

APSEZ maintained its dominance in the ports market throughout the financial year 2023. In FY23, APSEZ ports managed a cargo volume of 339.2 million metric tonnes (MMT), a notable increase from the 312 MMT handled in FY22, marking a 9% year-on-year growth.

Several ports and terminals under APSEZ witnessed their highest-ever cargo volumes in FY23, including Mundra Port, Tuna Terminal, Hazira Port, Mormugao Terminal, Kattupalli Port, and Ennore Container Terminal.

Mundra Port retained its position as India’s largest container handling port during FY23, handling 6.64 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), surpassing JNPT by 0.6 million TEUs.

Logistics Business

Adani Logistics Ltd (ALL) stands out as the most diversified end-to-end logistics service provider in India, boasting a presence in all major markets. With expertise spanning various segments including Retail, Industrial, Container, Bulk, Break-Bulk, Liquids, Auto, and Grain Handling, ALL caters to a diverse range of customers.

Operating across the nation, the company manages 11 Multi-Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) strategically positioned in locations such as Patli, Tumb, Kilaraipur, Nagpur, Kishangarh, Malur, Taloja, Kanech (POL tank farm), Mundra, Loni, and Valvada. 

In the fiscal year 2023, the logistics business experienced significant growth, with rail volume witnessing a remarkable 24% year-on-year increase to reach 500,446 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units).

Moreover, there was notable growth in the cargo volumes under the General Purpose Wagon Investment Scheme (GPWIS), which surged by 63% year-on-year to reach 14.35 million metric tonnes (MMT).

Special Economic Zone

Mundra Special Economic Zone (SEZ) stands as India’s largest multi-sector SEZ, spanning an expansive area of 8,234 hectares. Its exceptional multimodal connectivity renders it a highly appealing investment destination. 

Following a cluster-based development approach, Mundra SEZ hosts an electronics manufacturing cluster, a textile park, and a chemical cluster. Presently, it accommodates over 60 units across diverse sectors, complemented by infrastructure facilities provided by 19 co-developers.

The SEZ has proven its economic prowess with cumulative exports surpassing ₹40,750 crore. Notably, in FY 2022-23 alone, exports amounted to ₹9237 crore, underscoring its significance in contributing to the nation’s export economy.

Financials Of Adani Ports

FY2023FY2022FY2021FY2020
Revenue (in ₹crore)20,85117,11812,54911,873
Net Profit (in ₹crore)5,392.754,953.185,048.743,784.53
ROE14.65%13.71%18.06%15.19%
ROCE9.42%10.42%13.62%11.13%

In the fiscal year 2023, APSEZ saw a substantial increase in revenue, surging by 22% to reach ₹20,851 crore as opposed to ₹17,118 crore in FY2022. Analyzing a span of four years, encompassing FY2020 to FY2023, the company displayed a  Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21% in revenue.

Simultaneously, there was a noteworthy upturn in net profit, experiencing a 9% increase from ₹4,953.18 crore in FY2022 to ₹5,392.75 crore in FY2023. Over the cumulative four-year period from FY2020 to FY2023, the net profit showcased 13% CAGR.

In FY23, APSEZ maintained favourable financial metrics with a Return on Equity (ROE) of 14.65% and Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) of 9.42%.

Future Plans Of Adani Ports

A Market Leader with Diversified Portfolio

India’s maritime infrastructure comprises 13 major ports and 205 minor ports, facilitating the handling of approximately 1,600 million metric tonnes (mmt) of cargo annually. These ports serve as crucial gateways to India’s import-export (EXIM) activities and economic development, with industry volumes exhibiting a 4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from FY13 to FY23.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) has played a central role in this facilitation, handling 339 mmt of cargo in FY23, up from 312 mmt in FY22. Notably, APSEZ has achieved a remarkable 14% CAGR in volumes over the FY13–FY23 period, surpassing industry growth rates significantly.

This growth can be attributed to several factors: expansions at Mundra, the commissioning of Hazira, and strategic acquisitions of ports like Dhamra, Krishnapatnam, and Gangavaram. APSEZ’s footprint has expanded from just two ports in Gujarat in FY11 to a diversified portfolio of 14 ports across the western and eastern coasts of India.

In FY23, APSEZ made a significant move by acquiring a 70% stake in Israel’s Haifa Port in partnership with Israel’s Gadot Group, with a transaction value of USD 1.2 billion. Haifa Port, one of Israel’s major commercial ports, handles approximately half of the country’s container cargo.

Transforming into Complete Service Provider

Adani Logistics (ALL) has transformed its operations to offer comprehensive end-to-end logistics services, covering container train operations (CTOs), container handling through logistic parks, and warehousing solutions including storage space and trucking services for last-mile connectivity.

Currently, ALL manages nine multi-modal logistics parks (MMLPs) with a fleet of 95 trains, providing 1.6 million square feet of warehousing space, and operating 1.1 million metric tonnes of grain silos. With ambitions to broaden its reach, ALL aims to establish a nationwide presence by expanding its network of logistic parks and warehouses.

These strategic endeavours are anticipated to synergize with ALL’s port operations, resulting in increased cargo throughput and heightened efficiency throughout its logistics network.

Conclusion

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) has demonstrated remarkable resilience, recovering from the Hindenburg incident and solidifying its position as a leader in India’s maritime and logistics sectors. With its diversified portfolio, strategic acquisitions, and ambitious plans for expansion, APSEZ is poised for continued success.

What are your thoughts on the company’s ability to overcome challenges like the Hindenburg report and achieve its ambitious future goals? Do you believe it will maintain its strong performance?

Written by Nalin Suriya S

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