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Oil marketers whine, but their profits shine

IOC, BPCL Q4 figures show sharp jumps, aided by handouts from government and special discounts from upstream companies. HT reports. Raining profits

business Updated: May 28, 2012 22:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

State-run oil marketing companies may be whining about the government denying them their due with administered fuel prices that lower their revenues, but they are laughing all the way to the banks with manifold profit growth.

Aided by cash subsidies and payments from other state companies to compensate for under-recoveries resulting from their selling fuel at below-market prices, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) have announced stellar profits for the fourth quarter of 2011-12, while Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) is scheduled to unveil its results on Tuesday.

Posting a much higher than expected earnings, the biggest of them all, IOC, on Monday reported a 224 % jump in its January-March net profit at Rs 12,670.43 crore from R 3,905.16 crore a year ago.

BPCL on Saturday said its net profit nearly quadrupled to R3,962.83 crore in January-March 2012 from Rs 935.18 crore.

The results came within days of a controversial petrol price hike by the oil refiners.

IOC’s chairman and managing director RS Butola said government compensation for the under-recoveries in diesel, LPG and kerosene, higher other income and lower expenditure supported its profit.

IOC received Rs 9,430 crore during the March quarter from upstream oil companies including ONGC, OIL and GAIL.

OIL, which shares the subsidy burden, posted a 21% drop in net profit at Rs 444.81 crore for January-March. OIL said its profit dipped after the government asked the company to share the Rs 1,38,541 crore under-recovery burden of the refiners.

“It is a case of financial jugglery that is keeping these oil marketing companies alive,” said independent analyst SP Tulsian. IOC also got Rs 20,861 crore as cash subsidy from the Centre.

First Published: May 28, 2012 20:28 IST