HPCL Declares 100% Payout; Net Slips 27%

Mumbai, May 30: | Updated: May 31 2002, 05:30am hrs
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), which is a divestment candidate, on Thursday declared a 100% dividend, even as it reported a 27.58% fall in net profit for the fiscal ended March 31, 2002 at Rs 787.97 crore as against Rs 1,088 crore for the preceding fiscal.

The Rs 339.33-crore dividend will fill the coffers of the government which is the biggest shareholder in HPCL with a 51% stake.

Chairman and managing director HL Zutshi said the net profit dipped due to the deferred tax and the long-term settlement with the companys unions. He added this settlement amounted to Rs 98 crore in addition to LTA and arrears paid to employees. The company made a provision of Rs 134.44 crore for the reporting year as against nil the previous year.

Sales Profit Same At APM Level
HPCL finance director SD Gupta said the company continues to make the same profit as in pre-APM days. It makes an average of Rs 500 per tonne of petroleum products, adding the company expected to increase its profit to Rs 1,500 per tonne post-APM era.

However, the government has barred the public sector oil companies from increasing petrol and diesel prices in the interest of the public even as APM was dismantled on April 1, 2002.

The pricing of the two commodities would be worked out after a month, depending on what the government decides, he said, adding the company demanded that it be compensated for the fall in profits and will be happy if the government compensates at Rs 1,500 per tonne of petrol and diesel sold. He also said the company has been given Rs 1,481 crore as oil bonds by the oil coordination committee and the remaining Rs 300 croe is expected this year.
Net sales also reported a fall of 8.39 per cent at Rs 4,4433.84 crore compared to Rs 4,8504.42 crore for the previous year.

Crude throughput for the reporting year increased to 12.33 million tonne as compared to 11.98 million tonne for the previous year. However, market sales witnessed a marginal fall at 10.02 million tonne over the previous year.

HPCL reported a marginal increase in the market share of motor fuel (motor spirit and high speed diesel) to 24 per cent from 23.8 per cent during the past fiscal.

It converted 340 dealer-owned retail outlets to company-owned ones, thus bringing 67 per cent of the total retail outlets under its control.

HPCL is setting up a huge storage facility at Mundra, said Mr Zutshi, which could be used as oil security for India.

On the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd imbroglio, the outgoing CMD said his company is in discussion with the AV Birla group, the joint venture partner in the refinery project. However, he refused to comment on when the issue would be resolved, adding it would have to be done before the company is sold off. HPCL, as a responsible partner would ensure that the project is not shut down, he added. He said he capital restructuring of the project would have to be worked out before the issue is resolved. But refused to give any further details as to how far the discussions progressed.