Adani Airports Holdings is most likely to be the first of the currently incubating businesses in the Adani group to be demerged and listed, and this is expected to take place by late 2025 or early 2026, sources said.
The airports vertical, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises and part of the transport and logistics business, operates eight airports, and the ninth, Navi Mumbai airport, is upcoming. Phase 1 of this airport is expected to be operational by December 2024.
Sources said the company is waiting for the first phase to be complete before monetising the business. When fully functional, which is expected by 2032, the Navi Mumbai airport will be able to handle 90 million passengers, double the current capacity of the existing airports in Mumbai.
In January this year, a senior official of the group indicated that Adani Enterprises would be spinning off its hydrogen, airports, and data centre businesses between 2025 and 2028 once they had reached a certain size and scale of operations.
In FY24 and FY25, Adani Enterprises will be spending about $1.1 billion each on the airport business, with the majority of the capex going towards the construction of the Navi Mumbai airport.
In FY23, airports in the group handled 75 million passenger traffic, more than double from a year ago, when the base was low due to Covid restrictions in place. In the current year, based on its performance in the first quarter, it expects to touch 83 million passenger traffic. With its current portfolio, it handles just under a fourth of the total passenger base in the country. Cargo traffic at 7.8 lakh tonnes saw a growth of over 16 per cent year-on-year.
The airports vertical reported revenue of ₹1,664 crore in the June quarter, a 35 per cent rise from a year ago. Profit and loss before tax and interest for the airports business was ₹148.3 crore, lower than the ₹ 230.4 crore reported in the year ago period. In the March quarter, it had a loss. Revenue from the airports in FY23 was ₹5,951 crore, while PBIT was ₹453 crore.
Adani Enterprises, the flagship of the group, is the incubator under which different businesses have been nurtured and eventually brought to market. The last company in the group that was listed in February 2022 was Adani Wilmar, which is in the fast-moving consumer goods space selling a range of products such as edible oils, wheat flour, rice, and pulses.