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Sterlite Tech says BSNL”s outstanding dues now below Rs 100 cr, expects substantial settlement this year

Data network solutions provider Sterlite Technologies” receivables from BSNL has come down to less than Rs 100 crore now, and the company is hopeful that substantial part of pending dues will be cleared by the state-owned telco this year, Group CEO Anand Agarwal said.

The dues from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) were close to Rs 230 crore at the end of 2018.

“Our dues from BSNL have come down to below Rs 100 crore now…and we believe a large part of it should get paid off within the current calendar year. At one point of time…end of 2018, it was Rs 220-230 crore,” Agarwal told PTI.

The pending dues were for optical fibre cable sales to BSNL, the supplies for which happened in 2018, he said, adding that the payment issue was limited only to telco”s capex-related maintenance and upgrade work, and not state rural broadband and other projects.

“We have received more than half of the dues anyway, and we see that the fund flow has now started with BSNL” revival plan in place. We are getting assurances from the ecosystem,” Agarwal said.

Sterlite Technologies recently posted a 96 per cent fall in consolidated net profit to Rs 5.96 crore for June quarter, as business was impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Its total income for the first quarter ended June 2020 dropped 38.5 per cent to Rs 885.7 crore as compared with the year ago period.

Asked when the company is expected to return to growth, Agarwal said that while Q2 of the current fiscal is expected to “definitely see some growth”, a full recovery will happen in the third quarter.

“Last quarter, we almost lost one full month on plant operations, and two full months on projects and services. Now, projects are running, and I see this being a growth quarter, but a full throttle recovery is expected in December quarter,” he said.

With a portfolio ranging from optical fibre and cables, to network design, deployment and network software, Pune-based Sterlite Technologies positions itself as integrated solutions provider for global data networks.

It has optical preform, fibre and cable manufacturing facilities in India, Italy, China and Brazil.


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