MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian state-owned oil refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) said it posted its biggest quarterly profit in nine years, helped by a fall in crude prices and higher refinery margins, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
Net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31 jumped about 80% to 32.23 B rupees (USD394.1 MM) from 17.95 B rupees a year earlier, according to a stock exchange filing.
Sale of products grew nearly 8.6% to 1.14 T rupees, with domestic sales rising to 10.92 MMt from 10.26 MMt a year earlier.
Indian refiners' crude oil processing stayed near all-time highs in March, catering to solid seasonal demand as fuel consumption jumped to a record high, driven by robust economic activity in the world's third-largest oil consumer. The Mumbai-based company also said that its average gross refining margin - profit from making refined products from one barrel of oil - was USD14.01/bbl for the quarter, compared to USD12.44.bbl a year ago.
In March, oil prices slumped to their lowest in more than a year, a positive for refining companies that import crude oil as their raw material.
Brent crude prices have fallen nearly 49% from a peak last year, helping lift oil companies' marketing margins. HPCL in its statement said that energy transition initiatives will be consolidated under a new company, adding that it will also explore carving out its lubricants business.
The company is the first among its state-run peers, including refiner Indian Oil Corp and oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corp, to report quarterly results.
We remind, GAIL (India) Ltd, the country's top gas supplier, plans to build a USD4.89-B ethane cracker near its liquefied natural gas (LNG) import plant in Western India, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, as it seeks to meet an expected surge in demand. Indian companies are boosting their petrochemical production capacity as the expanding economy boosts the need for goods ranging from plastics to paints and adhesives. A cracker produces ethylene, required for products such as plastics.