India's largest real estate developer, DLF, plans to reduce its debt by Rs 2,500-3,000 crore (Rs 25-30 billion) by the end of this financial year, according to group executive director Rajeev Talwar.
The company aims to cut debt through the divestment of non-core assets, including hotels and plots of land that cannot be developed in the next five years.
DLF, which has been trying to bring down its debt for some time, reported an increase of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in net debt in the first quarter of financial year 2012.
Net debt touched Rs 21,524 crore (Rs 215.24 billion) in the first quarter of FY12, from Rs 21,424 crore (Rs 214.24 billion) as on March 31, 2011.
While the group has a divestment target of Rs 6,000-7,000 crore (Rs 60-70 billion) over two to three years from sale of non-core assets, it had raised only Rs 165 crore (Rs 1.65 billion) by June 30.
In a presentation to analysts after the first quarter 2011-2012 results, DLF had said visibility in non-core divestment was expected by the end of the second quarter (September 30).
DLF would offload its stake in the hotel chain Aman Resorts, while keeping the Aman Hotel in Delhi with itself.
Apart from Aman Hotel, earlier Lodhi Hotel, the chain has two other hospitality properties in India -- Aman-i-Khas and Amanbagh --
Aman Resorts, founded in 1988 by Adrian Zecha, owns and operates a number of hotels across the world.
Talwar told Business Standard the Aman stake sale was expected to be completed by the end of this financial year. DLF refused to comment on the buzz that the Aman stake sale was nearing completion and that Khazanah, an investment arm of the Malaysian government, was looking at buying into it.
Goldman Sachs and Citi group are advisors for the deal.
While DLF's joint venture with the Hilton group was also being considered for sale earlier as part of its non-core assets, Talwar said, "We cannot offload it as it is on top of our mall (in Delhi)".
Other non-core assets to be sold include pockets of land in Gurgaon and some special economic zone areas across the country.
As for the interest burden, Talwar said it had risen Rs 200-300 crore (Rs 2-3 billion) in 18 to 24 months.
Hit by high input cost and rising interest rate, the company's net profit was down 12.81 per cent to Rs 358.36 crore (Rs 3.58 billion) for the quarter ended June 30 as against Rs 411.03 crore (Rs 4.11 billion) for the corresponding period last year.
The Competition Commission of India had recently imposed a penalty of Rs 630 crore (Rs 6.3 billion) on the company over charges of 'abuse of market dominance and unfair trade practices'.