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Unitech wants to build airports, sounding out global partners

Unitech wants to build airports, sounding out global partners
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First Published: Tue, Jul 31 2007. 01 10 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Jul 31 2007. 01 10 AM IST
New Delhi: Reporting a 371% increase in quarterly profit, India’s second largest listed real estate developer by market capitalization, Unitech Ltd, says it is in talks with Aéroports de Paris (ADP), the airport authority which manages France’s top airports, among others, to partner in a consortium that will bid for the development rights to new airports in India.
“We are talking to several international operators,” said Sanjay Chandra, managing director, Unitech. “One of the players we are talking to is ADP.” He declined to name the others.
The company plans to bid for airport projects in Chennai, Kolkata and Greater Noida. Bankers appointed by Unitech are in talks with ADP, but no deal has been finalized, Chandra said.
Unitech plans to hold a majority stake in the consortium and hopes to ink an agreement with an international airport operator within two months, he added.
In India, real estate developers are increasingly joining the fray for airport projects, as an unprecedented economic boom is putting a record number of fliers and aircraft in the air. As part of its plan to keep pace with growing domestic and international air traffic, the country is revamping existing airports and opening bids for new ones.
Recently, DLF Ltd, India’s top listed developer, announced that is teaming with Germany’s Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, owner and manager of the Frankfurt Airport, for modernization projects.
ADP, which manages Europe’s second busiest airport, Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, also owns and manages 13 other civil airports and airfields in the Paris area in France. The ADP Group has assisted in the construction of airports in more than 55 countries.
Separately, Unitech reported a 371% increase in its net profit for the first quarter (Q1) ended 30 June, up to Rs347.83 crore from Rs73.92 crore a year ago, as it sold more properties around New Delhi. Those numbers do not include earnings from its smaller units. Sales in Q1 rose 185% to Rs763.66 crore from Rs267.76 crore in the year-ago period.
On a consolidated basis, Unitech reported a net profit of Rs366.74 crore and an income of Rs865.79 crore. The figures for the year-ago quarter were not available, as it wasn’t previously disclosed.
Unitech also said that it is expanding into western India. The company plans to invest Rs4,000 crore over the next three years in Maharashtra and Goa. “We are in the process of aggregating land in these regions for the development of projects across sectors,” Chandra said. The company is looking at developing 4-5 million sq. ft in Mumbai.
Apart from the airport project, Unitech plans to invest Rs6,000 crore in the construction of an expressway between Kolkata and Haldia, in West Bengal, over the next five years. Chandra said the firm is looking at floating a real estate investment trust sometime towards the end of 2008.
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First Published: Tue, Jul 31 2007. 01 10 AM IST