13 January 2022
Mercantile Ports & Logistics Limited
("MPL", the "Group" or the "Company")
Mercantile Ports & Logistics Limited, which is developing and operating its port and logistics facility in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, provides the following update.
MPL made further progress during 2021, with a number of new contracts signed and the Facility's separate coal jetty handling volume cargo and generating revenue for the first time. However, COVID continued to have an impact on the Indian economy, with the Delta variant causing widespread hardship for Indian businesses and the population in general. Despite this, MPL was able to sign new contracts and recent months have seen the commencement of the construction of new warehouses for two new customers. In the last month, the Company was proud to see the first blocks of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, which had been constructed on the Facility by Tata Daewoo, leave by barge. This logistically challenging exercise passed without incident and the Company's team on the ground received positive feedback on the Facility from this important customer.
The Company's Sales and Marketing team was making good progress in the last quarter of the year, but the emergence of the Omicron COVID variant brought further strict lockdown measures to India and hit this momentum. Omicron also had an impact on cargo movements in December and some of the contracts that had been expected to be signed that month have been delayed, impacting revenues for 2021. Taken together, the Board has concluded that, whilst revenues are expected to be significantly ahead of 2020, they will be below market expectations.
Since the start of the year, the Company has seen some improvement in the trading conditions in the region but, until such time as COVID restrictions are removed, the Company will take a more cautious outlook for the current financial year. The Board is hopeful that there will be a quick rebound in activity and that the contracts that had been expected to be signed in December will be concluded in short order. The Company will keep shareholders informed.
Jay Mehta, CEO of Mercantile Ports, commented, "Having made progress and built momentum after the easing of restrictions from the Delta variant, it was disappointing for this momentum to stall with the emergence of the Omicron variant. However, the Company is well placed to make up lost ground and the recent achievements by Tata Daewoo demonstrate exactly what our facility can deliver. We expect to be able to evidence this further this year".
This announcement contains inside information.
Mercantile Ports & Logistics Ltd
C/O Newgate Communications
+44 (0)203 757 6880
Cenkos Securities plc
(Nomad and Joint Broker)
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+44 (0)203 757 6880