London-listed Essar Energy on Monday said the negative ruling by the Supreme Court in a tax case hit the company’s profits and led to a pre-tax loss of more than $1 billion (Rs 5,710 crore) for the 15-month period from January 2011 to March 31, 2012.
The Essar Group firm, led by Ruia brothers Ravi Ruia and Shashi Ruia, had posted a pre-tax profit of $365.5 million in year-ago period. Excluding the adjustments of exceptional items, pre-tax profit fell to $195 million.
A Supreme Court ruling in January left the group liable for $1.2 billion (R6,600 crore) in taxes, which weighed on its shares to such an extent that the company dropped out of the FTSE 100 index earlier this year.
The group’s revenues, however, more than doubled to $22 billion for the 15-month period against $10 billion in the same period a year ago, on the back of higher selling prices and acquisitions including the the company’s buyout of Royal Dutch Shell’s Stanlow refinery for $350 million.
“We are now very much an operational energy major with many construction projects completed and our capex investment programme having peaked,” said Naresh Nayyar, chief executive, Essar Energy. “The expansion of our Vadinar refinery has been successful. Coupled with our low cost base, this will permit a step change in margins.”
Depreciation in the value of the rupee against the dollar during the 15-month period under review contributed to a $317 million foreign exchange hit. In March the group completed the first phase of its Vadinar oil refinery expansion project, boosting the plant’s capacity to 405,000 barrels a day.