State-owend fuel retailer Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) today reported 31 per cent jump in the March quarter net profit on higher refining margins and inventory gains. HPCL, which had in 2016-17 issued bonus shares in the ratio of 2:1, also announced a bonus issue of one equity share of Rs 10 each for every two equity shares held.
Net profit in the January-March quarter of last fiscal was Rs 1,818.79 crore (Rs 17.90 per share), 31 per cent higher than Rs 1,387.91 crore (Rs 13.66 a share), in the same quarter of the previous fiscal, 2015-16, HPCL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Kumar Surana said.
“Profit was higher as a result of better operating efficiencies, higher sales and inventory gains,” he said. The company made an inventory gain of Rs 743 crore in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, as compared to Rs 37 crore gain made in the same period of the previous financial year.
Inventory gain results when crude oil is bought at a particular price but by the time it is transported to refinery and processed into fuel, the rates move up. In the reverse scenario, losses take place. The company earned $7.99 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel in the quarter as compared to a gross refining margin (GRM) of $7.51 per barrel, he said.
Sales rose to Rs 58,668 crore during the quarter under review, as compared to Rs 48,145 crore in the year-ago period. Surana said HPCL posted its highest ever net profit of Rs 6,208.80 crore in 2016-17 fiscal, up 67 per cent from Rs 3,726.16 crore in the previous year.
“The growth in profit is due to increased refining throughput, higher domestic market sales, better operating efficiencies and inventory gains,” he said. HPCL’s Mumbai and Visakh refineries processed highest ever crude oil of 17.81 million tonne (MT) with capacity utilisation of 113 per cent in 2016-17 as opposed to throughput of 17.23 MT in the previous fiscal.
The refineries recorded combined distillate yield of 75.8 per cent with highest ever production of petrol at 3.29 MT, diesel of 6.69 MT and lube oil base stock at 431,000. It also achieved lowest ever specific energy consumption, he said.
Annual GRM, which is a function of product cracks or difference between crude oil and product prices, was marginally lower at USD 6.20 per barrel as compared to $6.68 per barrel GRM in 2015-16. The company board proposed a final dividend of Rs 1.10 per share, taking the total dividend for the fiscal to Rs 30 per share (ex-bonus). This will result in a total payout of Rs 3,668 crore including dividend distribution tax, he said.
HPCL achieved highest ever domestic sale of 34.7 MT with a growth of 2.6 per cent over previous year. Petrol sales soared 6.7 per cent, LPG 11 per cent and jet fuel 13.4 per cent, he added. HPCL shares closed 11.43 per cent higher on the BSE at Rs 567.45.