Business

ICRA downgrades Taj GVK Hotels & Resorts to A-minus with negative outlook

ANI | September 28, 2020 12:01 PM
With sharp fall in operating profits, the debt coverage indicators are likely to deteriorate in FY21.

New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts said on Monday that ICRA has downgraded its long-term loans totalling Rs 166 crore to A-minus from A and short-term credit facilities worth Rs 30 crore to A2-plus from A1.

The revisions follow expectations of protracted recovery in Indian travel and hospitality industry and resultant weakening in Taj GVK's operating and financial metrics in FY21.

The company reported meagre revenues of Rs 3.3 crore and operating losses in Q1 FY21 due to pan-India COVID-19 lockdown which resulted in only one of its six properties being operational.

With a continued increase in the reported COVID-19 cases, consequent multiple localised shutdowns implemented by various State governments and practically nil discretionary travel, the recovery is expected to be much prolonged.

ICRA said this is expected to weaken the company's financial profile. The company's earnings will be weak during Q2 FY21 and this trend is expected to continue over the next several quarters with continued muted demand. With a sharp fall in operating profits, the debt coverage indicators are likely to deteriorate in FY21.

With the RBI moratorium coming to an end and accruals continuing to be weak, the company has applied for loan restructuring for a period of two years with its lenders. If approved, this will provide a liquidity cushion to the company for debt servicing.

While the company has adequate funds in the form of undrawn working capital lines and fixed deposits for meeting its operational commitments in the near term, it will need incremental debt and equity as the recovery gets prolonged.

Besides, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against GVK Airport Holdings, Mumbai International Airport Ltd, promoter of GVK Group G V K Reddy, his son G V Sanjay Reddy, nine other private companies and unidentified officials of Airports Authority of India for alleged financial irregularities worth Rs 705 crore in the development of Mumbai airport.

The GVK Group holds a 49.47 per cent stake in Taj GVK through Shalini Bhupal (daughter of G V K Reddy holding a 37.4 per cent stake) and G Indira Krishna Reddy (wife of G V K Reddy holding a 12.07 per cent stake).

While Taj GVK is not named as a party in the FIR, said G V K Reddy is the Non-Executive Chairman of the company. ICRA said it will continue to monitor the developments in this regard for Taj GVK, especially for any governance challenges and any consequent loss of financial flexibility.

Any adverse development in this regard may warrant an appropriate rating action. (ANI)

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