Mumbai, Jan 28 (PTI) Expectations of a dip in sales Monday led global ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service to downgrade its outlook on India’s largest realty player Lodha Developers.Also Read - West Bengal Cabinet Gives Nod To Recruit 2020 Women Police Constables

The agency affirmed its rating on the city based builder at B2, but downgraded its outlook to “stable” from the “positive” earlier. Also Read - Delhi Rains: Flights Delayed For Second Day at IGI Airport, Airlines Issue Passenger Advisory | Tweets Inside

“The change in outlook reflects the company’s weaker-than-expected operating sales during the six months to September 2018 and high debt maturities in fiscal years ending March 2020 and March 2021,” Saranga Ranasinghe, Moody’s assistant vice president and analyst, said. Also Read - Women's T20 Challenge: Supernovas Beat Trailblazers By 49 Runs

The agency said it expects Lodha’s operating sales in fiscal year 2018-19 to be 25 per cent lower than what it had achieved in the previous 12 months, and 38 per cent lower than what it had expected.

The sales have been lower in both the markets Lodha operates in — Mumbai and London — and will only continue, it said.

In the first six months of the fiscal year till September, Lodha achieved sales of Rs 3,460 crore from India operations and Rs 420 crore from its London operations, it said, stressing these numbers are lower by 27 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively, than Moody’s expectations on an annualised basis.

However, given that the company’s inventory is in the ready to move stage preferred by customers, the ratings agency said the cash collections will be in line with the expectations and around 20 per cent higher than FY18.

The other factor weakening Lodha’s profile is the large debt maturities over the next 12-18 months, which are “significantly higher than the company’s cash balance and expected cash flow from operations,” the agency said.

Lodha has Rs 1,300 crore of debt coming up for refinance in the next 12 months, a GBP 290 million loan maturing in August 2019, USD 325 million in bonds maturing in March 2020 and another GBP 517 million loan maturing in March 2021, it said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.