Suzlon posted another $100m-plus loss and saw 632MW disappear from its order book in another tough quarter for the debt-laden Indian wind group, which according to its auditor is now working to a deadline of 30 March to settle a restructuring plan with its creditors.
Suzlon booked a net loss of 7.43bn rupees ($104m) for its latest financial quarter ending December 31, as it admitted its wind turbine operations were “at a subdued level with nominal allocation of capital”.
That was brought home by the figure of just 2MW – a single turbine – given for delivery volumes in the quarter, and 49MW for the last nine months, by a company that not too many years ago was among the biggest wind OEMs in the world.
Quarterly revenue fell to 6.54bn rupees from 10.9bn rupees a year earlier. The company's shares fell almost 10% in Mumbai today to 2.45 rupees, a fraction of the 28 rupees they commanded in 2015.
The bright spot for Suzlon was its 15GW-plus O&M operation, which it said provided stable revenues “insulated from business cycles”.
The company said 632MW had been considered cancelled from its order book in the quarter as a result of “teething troubles of land, power evacuation and other constraints”. Suzlon’s firm wind turbine orders now stand at 857MW, it told investors.
Suzlon – which has spent the best part of a year trying to resolve its financial issues – is still working on an agreement with creditors over its debts, said auditor Deloitte, Haskins and Sells in a statement with Suzlon’s Q3 results.
Suzlon, which has debts totaling more than $1.5bn, had earlier said it had until January this year to have a plan agreed, with reports suggesting its lenders would face a significant 'haircut' on what's owed to them.
The auditor said on Wednesday: “The date presently envisaged as the implementation date for the proposed restructuring plan including for settlement with [foreign currency bond] holders is 31 March, 2020,” as it repeated earlier warnings that Suzlon’s issues “may cast a significant doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern”.
A creditor ‘standstill agreement’ under terms set by the Reserve Bank of India expired on 7 January, said Deloitte, Haskins and Sells. Suzlon’s lenders are currently executing an amendment agreement to prolong that to 30 April, it added.
Suzlon, which issued a statement accompanying the results that noted two quarterly "highlights" – the cancelled orders and a corporate prize for prevention of sexual harassment – said: “We are diligently working with our lenders towards a holistic debt resolution and fixing the capital structure.”
The company’s troubles contributed to it losing top spot in the Indian wind market last year to Siemens Gamesa, analysts at BloombergNEF said last week.