After a gap of almost seven years, private explorer Cairn India on Thursday reported an unexpected net loss of Rs 241 crore for the January-March quarter 2015. The poor show was due to a combination of factors, including lower crude price and volume, and forex and impairment losses. During the Q4 of last fiscal, the company had reported a net profit of Rs 3,035 crore.
The last time Cairn India had reported a net loss (Rs 13.9 crore), it was the quarter ended December 2007.
Analysts expected the Vedanta Group company’s net profit to drop 50-60% during the fourth quarter of FY15. Shares of Cairn India fell more than 3% to an intraday low of Rs 212. It was the top loser in the 50-share Nifty and underperformed the energy sub-index on the BSE. The stock closed at Rs 213.60, down 2.22%, on the BSE.
The explorer reported revenues (post-profit sharing with the Centre and the royalty expense in the Rajasthan block) of Rs 2,677 crore, down 47% year-on-year, on account of lower crude prices and lower volumes by 3%.
Consequently, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the quarter were Rs 727 crore, down 80% year-on-year. “Profit after tax (excluding exceptional items) for Q4 FY15 was Rs 193 crores as the rupee appreciation led to a forex loss of Rs 168 crore. Exceptional item in Q4 FY15 pertained to impairment loss of Sri Lanka amounting to Rs 505 crores leading to a negative profit after tax for the quarter of Rs 241 crore. Overall capex incurred was lower at $282 million (gross) and $231 million,” Cairn said in a statement.
Operating expense during Q4 FY14 was seen higher at Rs 345 crore due to higher well maintenance costs. Exploration cost write-off was higher at Rs 552 crores mainly due to a write-off of Rs 260 crore on account of the high pressure high temperature well RX-11 in Ravva and Rs 111 crore on account of Nagayalanka-NW-1z well in KG Onshore.
During Q4 FY15 gross production was 19.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) of oil equivalent with daily production at 215,553 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), which is 4% less compared with 224,429 boepd in the same quarter last year.
The Barmer block in Rajasthan produced 15.7 million barrels of oil equivalent in Q4 FY15 at an average of 174,206 boepd, achieving a cumulative total production of 281 mmboe till the end of FY15.