OPG Power Ventures PLC (LON:OPG) shares rose on Friday as the firm revealed that tariffs increased in its financial year ended March 31, 2020, following hikes in October 2018, and power generation ticked-up, though it remained cautious on the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown impact in India in the current year.
In a trading and coronavirus (COVID-19) update, the developer and operator of power generation plants in India said its total generation (including deemed) was 2.72 billion units, up from the previous year’s 2.71 billion units figure, with its plant load factor (PLF) flat at 75%.
The group said the average tariff in the period was Rs5.67, up 4.8% on the previous year’s Rs5.41 figure, which reflected a full years impact of tariff increases in October 2018 for captive users.
The company noted that it made £18.0mln (Rs1.68bn) of term loan principal repayments during the full-year to March 31, 2020, the equivalent of 4.5p per share, reducing its term loans balance to £49.8mln (Rs4.63bn) at the year-end.
OPG noted that during India’s COVID-19 lockdown, its Unit 3 (80 MW) has continued operations with limited PLF, although this has substantially increased during May 2020 and PLF is expected to be in 75-80% range this month
It added that two (77MW each) out of its three other units resumed operations from the beginning and middle of May 2020 respectively.
The group said it has implemented various cost reduction, efficiency improvement and liquidity improvement measures to ensure sustainable operations.
It noted that the nationwide lockdown in India has been extended to May 31, 2020, though restrictions are being relaxed in less affected areas enabling economic activity to restart.
The imposition of lockdown to control the COVID-19 outbreak has had an adverse impact on overall electricity demand in India in its current full-year, the group added.
Arvind Gupta, OPG’s executive chairman commented: "We have been working tirelessly to implement plans to limit the human, financial and commercial consequences of COVID-19.
“We have initiated significant cash conservation initiatives across the Group, whilst ensuring the health and safety of all our employees to secure our long term sustainability.
“These initiatives have improved the liquidity position of the Company which together with support from our lending banks put the Group in a stronger position to manage the difficult market conditions,” Gupta added.
In early trading on Friday, shares in OPG Power ventures were 10.4% higher at 12.24p.
OPG also said there will be a virtual presentation at InvestorMeetCompany platform for investors and analysts at 11am on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. To register for the presentation, please contact [email protected] or register at: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/opg-power-ventures-plc/register-investor?arc=ffac219d-20c0-4ed5-b428-5b17ea09ef0d