L&T Looks at Rs 3,000 Cr Orders From Sri Lanka

L&T Looks at Rs 3,000 Cr Orders From Sri Lanka
Mumbai: Engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is expecting Rs 3,000 crore worth infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka as it seeks to expand its global presence, its chief A M Naik said today.

"We are looking at expanding our global presence. There is an opportunity we are looking at in Sri Lanka. Almost three infrastructure projects worth Rs 3,000 crore are likely to come up and we believe that we have a good chance of getting them," Chairman and Managing Director AM Naik told reporters on the sidelines of the company's 70th annual general meeting.

Once the resources are tied up, these projects are likely to be materialised during the fourth quarter and the company can bag those projects, he added.

Naik said the company is also looking at a few more countries to expand its international presence.

"We are already in West Asia and also made a foray into the African markets. We will continue to look at some more countries for expansion. But our order mix will continue to be 20-25 per cent international and 75-80 per cent domestic, as the market here is now looking promising," he said.

L&T is also expecting a 15 per cent growth in order inflow this fiscal, he said.

While orders in the hydrocarbons segment in West Asia have not picked up, there is scope in the infrastructure sector.

The current order book of L&T stands at around Rs 2,39,000 crore.

Naik further said the company will continue to be cautious while selecting road projects and will continue to concentrate on its core business.

"We have around 17 road projects out of which 6-7 are not profit-making. Few years back, everyone went aggressive when they thought that roads sector is a sunrise industry. That time we did not understand there could be impediments in terms of right of way, or work will stop, cost will rise and government will not give extra claims because of which majority projects not going well."

"Our focus will be to make them profitable and until that happens we will not invest more. It might take another two years for the projects becoming profitable. But we will continue to review the mood and conservatively and selectively bid for projects," he said.

Naik further said the company will continue to monetise its non-core assets.

"Last year we sold the Dhamra Port in Odisha and we will continue to sell some more, especially in the realty sector. Realty projects in Chandigarh and Seawoods, Navi Mumbai, would be put on block. Also we will sell the Kattupalli Port (Tamil

Nadu). These projects, especially the real estate ones, are meant to be churned and invested in other projects," Naik added.

When asked whether the company was planning to sell its road projects as well, he said, "We will focus on making them profitable and not sell them."

The Chairman, earlier told the shareholders, that the company will keep unlocking value by listing subsidiaries that are unrelated to its core infrastructure business.

"Value unlocking will impact shares of L&T positively. We are offering a platform by listing the subsidiaries which will allow them to grow much much faster. Spinning L&Ts' infrastructure business is not considered wise by the Board.

But, we will unlock value by selling subsidiaries which are no where aligned to core business," he said.

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