Vedanta eyes $100-bn revenue by 2030, capex of about $3-bn in next two yrs

Billionaire Anil Agarwal, who is chairman of Vedanta, said on Wednesday that the company was targeting $100 billion in revenue by 2030 as it continued to diversify its operations across the natural resources spectrum.

The company closed 2021-22 (FY22) with a revenue of Rs 1.31 trillion (or nearly $17 billion) — up 51 per cent over the previous year. It has operations across sectors such as oil and gas, zinc, lead, silver, nickel, and copper in India, South Africa, and Namibia.

Addressing shareholders at the company’s 57th annual general meeting, Agarwal said that had planned a capital expenditure of around $3 billion over the next two years for growth and vertical integration. Of this, $2 billion would be earmarked for the ongoing financial year (2022-23).

“FY22 has been the best year for . We clocked record revenue and earnings before interest tax depreciation, and amortisation of Rs 45,319 crore — up 66 per cent year-on-year,” said Agarwal.

“Our strong cashflow places the company in a great position of growth. We have also put in place a robust capital allocation strategy that aims at deleveraging the balance sheet. We retain a track record of consistently rewarding shareholders with strong dividend payouts,” he said.

Among growth plans, Agarwal pointed to the acquisition of Goa-based Nicomet (in December 2021), which has made the only producer of nickel in India.

“This metal is high in demand for electric vehicles and batteries,” he said.

“We are also foraying into the manufacture of semiconductor and display units. Not only are semiconductors in short supply globally, India is also 100 per cent import-dependent. Vedanta has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Foxconn to set up an integrated semiconductor manufacturing facility in India. I truly hope this is only the beginning of the creation of a Silicon Valley in India,” he said. Agarwal also made a strong case for the natural resources sector, which he said could play a pivotal role in India’s economic growth. “The natural resources sector will play a key role in India’s growth and employment story as the nation strives to become atmanirbhar. Even small policy reforms can unleash the true potential of this sector,” he said.

Agarwal also said that Vedanta had pledged $5 billion to reduce carbon emissions in operations to net zero by 2050 — or sooner. He said the company had set targets to become water-positive by 2030 as well as use 2.5 gigawatt of renewable energy in its operations by the same period.

Agarwal also added that India was in a sweet spot in terms of drawing investment from global at a time when businesses across the world were looking at alternatives to China in terms of diversification.

“The world is looking to adopt a China Plus One strategy. This is India’s moment,” he said.

India’s pace of growth, estimated to be around 7 per cent, and its relative insulation from global economic challenges, were factors weighing in its favour, he added.

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