Shares of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) jumped as much as 2% on Monday after India's largest port operator said it handled 300 million metric tonne (MMT) of cargo as on February 23, 2023, in just 329 days, beating its own milestone from last year of 354 days.

The Adani group company's stock rose 2% in intraday trade to ₹570 apiece on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). This compares with a sharp fall in Indian equity benchmarks. The BSE Sensex dropped to 59,000 points, while the Nifty 50 sank below the 17,350 level.

The ports operator said it has registered unprecedented growth since it started operations over two decades ago and continues to outperform all India cargo volume growth, with its market share rising rapidly.

"The APSEZ's flagship port, Mundra, is outpacing all its closest rivals by comfortable margins and continues to be the largest port in the nation in terms of volumes handled. Mundra's infrastructure meets world standards and provides service levels on par with those of its global competitors, making it India’s gateway for container goods," said Karan Adani, CEO and whole-time director, APSEZ.

The Ahmedabad-based company said that an increase in cargo volume handled at ports is a sign the nation's economy is picking up. Almost 95% of the trade volumes in India are carried through maritime transport.

"Through concession agreements with various government authorities, APSEZ has strategically built a string of ports (pearls) across the coastline of India along with ICDs (inland container depots) and warehouses, woven intricately with self-owned rakes, covering more than 70% of the hinterland," the company said.

APSEZ claims it has seen 4% year-on-year growth at its container terminals because of its "efficient infrastructure", which not only helps the country increase its trade share in global trade but also makes it easier for consumers to gain access to a wide range of international products at reduced costs.

Mundra Port shipped 1,501 fertiliser rakes in the current fiscal year with the total cargo dispatch of 4.8 MMT – the highest ever in the port's history.

This, according to Adani Ports, was made possible because of the port's mechanised infrastructure and operational planning. "This means vessels do not have to wait longer at the port as fertilisers are removed quickly from them, followed by quicker bagging and loading onto rakes with minimum wastage. The ability to turn around rakes and vessels quickly allows for the delivery of fertilisers to farmers round the year," it said.

This year also saw growth in agri exports due to India's record high food grain production and the Russia-Ukraine conflict that opened up opportunities for farm exports, the ports operator said.

APSEZ reported a 16% year-on-year drop in consolidated net profit at ₹1,315.54 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2022. The company had posted a profit of ₹1,567.01 crore in the same period last fiscal. Revenue from operations rose to ₹4,786.17 crore in Q3, up 17.5% from ₹4,071.98 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

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