As we know, the infrastructure sector has received a significant boost through the provisions of the Union Budget 2021-22. The Finance Ministry has allocated a whopping Rs 1.18 lakh crore towards the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. This fund would be utilised for the launch of mega national highway projects across the states of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, and Kerala. This would strengthen the existing transportation networks in India and ensure more connectivity.

This is clearly great news for large infrastructure companies that constantly receive contracts from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Over the years, these firms have built and maintained some of the best roads and highways in our country. Let us take a closer look at some of the prominent companies that excel in the construction of highways in India. 

Larsen & Toubro

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Limited is engaged in engineering, construction, and manufacturing operations worldwide. The company’s infrastructure segment constructs buildings and factories, transportation infrastructure, heavy civil infrastructure, power transmission and distribution, etc. L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Limited (L&T IDPL) is a pioneer of the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model of development in India. IDPL’s portfolio of road projects includes some of the most economically significant and high-traffic corridors connecting key industrial cities and ports. The company’s total portfolio consists of 17 projects, comprising 7,800 lane kilometers of roads and highways. 

L&T has invested heavily in research and development (R&D) activities to improve efficiency and accuracy. Thus, they have been able to complete and deliver projects within the stipulated time.

Financial Performance:

L&T’s revenues and profits have shown consistent growth over the years. This is primarily due to the large number of contracts they receive from Central and state government agencies. The company reported a 4.8% year-on-year (YoY) increase in net profit to Rs 2,446.7 crore for the quarter ended December (Q3). L&T’s revenue from operations declined 1.78% YoY to Rs 35,596 crore during the same period. The company’s order inflow in Q3 was the highest-ever in any quarter. It received fresh orders worth a new record of Rs 73,233 crore. 

Over the last 5 years, L&T’s revenue has grown at a yearly rate of 9.71%, whereas the industry average stood at 5.44%. The company has continued to show its dominance in the infrastructure sector by securing a large number of “significant contracts” over the past year. It has been able to obtain a market share of 50.04%. L&T offers very attractive dividends as well.

The share price of L&T has surged by more than 82% since April 2020.

Dilip Buildcon

Dilip Buildcon Limited (DBL) is one of the leading infrastructure companies that is engaged in the construction of roads, bridges, dams, and commercial & residential buildings. It operates in two segments- EPC Projects and Toll Operations. The company undertakes state and national highway projects, city road projects, and bridge operation and maintenance projects. The company also develops irrigation projects, urban development projects, dams, canals, metro rail viaducts, and much more. It is involved in the maintenance of road infrastructure facilities and toll operations. DBL has established its presence in more than 19 states.

Dilip Buildcon’s revenue has grown at a yearly rate of 28.85% over the past 5 years, whereas the industry average stood at 5.44%.  The company posted a 107% YoY jump in consolidated net profit to Rs 181.91 crore for the quarter ended December (Q3). Revenue had increased by 7.1% YoY to  Rs 2,746.19 crore in Q3. These are strong figures indeed. It has been able to secure a market share of 3.31%.

Since April 2020, the shares of Dilip Buildcon have rallied by more than 187%.

IRB Infrastructure Developers

IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited is engaged in the construction, development, and maintenance of roads and highways on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. The company operates in two segments- Toll Operate & Transfer Projects and Construction. IRB is also involved in real estate development, generation and sale of electricity through windmills, and airport infrastructure activities. The company has 21 projects with 12,317 lane kilometers of roads and highways. 

Recently, the company emerged as the successful bidder for the construction of eight lanes of the Gandeva-Ena stretch of the upcoming Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway in Gujarat. The length of the stretch is 27.5 kilometers. The cost of the project is Rs.1,755 crore.

Financial Performance:

IRB Infra Developers have shown a consistent increase in profits and revenues over the years. The company reported a 56% YoY decline in net profit to Rs 69.48 crore for the quarter ended December (Q3). Its total revenue fell to Rs 1,594.80 crore in Q3, compared to Rs 1,790 crore during the July-September quarter (Q2). However, the company said its construction segment has seen a robust recovery and continues to strengthen further.

Over the past 5 years, the revenue of IRB Infrastructure Developers has grown at a yearly rate of 12.39%, whereas the industry average stood at 5.44%. The company has been able to obtain a market share of 2.39%. 

The stock price of IRB Infrastructure Developers has surged by 116% since April 2020.

PNC Infratech

PNC Infratech Limited is a construction, development, and management company based in Agra. The company undertakes various infrastructure projects, including highways, bridges, flyovers, power transmission lines, airport runways and pavements, and track construction. It also provides end-to-end infrastructure implementation solutions such as engineering, procurement, and construction services (EPC) on a fixed-sum turnkey basis. 

Recently, the company’s subsidiary -PNC Unnao Highways- received an order worth Rs 1,602 crore from the NHAI. The project consists of four-laning of the Unnao-Lalganj section of NH 232-A in Uttar Pradesh. Two of its other subsidiaries have won orders aggregating to ~Rs 3,500 crore in Uttar Pradesh.

Financial Performance:

The revenues and profits of PNC Infratech have seen a sharp uptrend over the years. The company reported a 163% YoY jump in consolidated net profit to Rs 176.14 crore for the quarter ended December (Q3). Its revenue from operations increased by 13.78% YoY to Rs 1,582.02 crore during the same period. The company recorded substantial growth in both bottom-line and top-line segments in Q3.

Over the last 5 years, PNC Infratech’s revenue has grown at a yearly rate of 25.3%, whereas the industry average stood at 5.44%. The company has been able to secure a market share of 1.95%.

The shares of PNC Infratech have surged by 154% since April 2020.

KNR Constructions Limited

KNR Constructions Limited operates as an infrastructure development company in India. It provides engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for roads and highways, irrigation, and urban water infrastructure management sectors. It undertakes various infrastructure projects, such as expressways, national highways, flyovers, bridges and viaducts, irrigation projects, and much more.

Several financial analysts suggest that KNR Constructions’ strong balance sheet gives it a key competitive advantage over its peers in bidding for newer projects. It has time and again completed and executed projects ahead of schedule. Over the last 5 years, KNR Constructions’ revenue has grown at a yearly rate of 21.76%, whereas the industry average stood at 5.44%. However, the company has been only able to obtain a market share of 0.85%. 

The share price of KNR Constructions has surged by 109% since April 2020.

Conclusion

We have only mentioned five major companies that could benefit from the new highway projects announced by the Finance Minister. Other listed firms involved in the construction and maintenance of highways include HG Infra Engineering, Bharat Road Network, Ashoka Buildcon, Sadbhav Engineering, MEP Infrastructure, etc. 

The development of a strong transportation network plays an important role in the overall economic growth of our country. These companies have time and again contributed their expertise and resources to the construction of our national highways and city roads. They are likely to receive more orders from the NHAI in the months to come. The National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and a Development Finance Institution (DFI) will be set up in our country to provide an extra and essential boost to the sector. Due to positive sentiments surrounding their financial results, fresh orders from NHAI, and provisions of the Budget, we could see a further rally in the shares of these infrastructure firms.

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