• Petronet LNG Q4 net down 20% to Rs 2.39 billion on tax adjustment

    Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL), India’s state-owned largestnatural gas importer, today posted a 20 per cent decline in net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 2016, on account of reversal of tax expenses that had jacked up profit in the corresponding quarter previous fiscal (2014-15). The company reported a net profit of Rs 2.39 billion for the three months ended March as compared to profit of Rs 3 billion in the corresponding quarter previous fiscal. “The net profit figure of the quarter is not comparable with the net profit of corresponding quarter. However, the Profit Before Tax (PBT) figures are comparable,” Director-Finance R K Garg said at a conference call.

    The company’s PBT jumped two-and-a-half times to Rs 3.51 billion during the fourth quarter last fiscal (2015-16) as against Rs 1.30 billion in the corresponding quarter. However, the slide in net profit by a fifth came despite a 19 per cent reduction in expenses to Rs 56.98 billion as compared to expenses of Rs 70.21 billion in the same quarter previous fiscal. Total income of the company during the quarter also dipped 15 per cent to Rs 60.65 billion as compared to 71.61 billion in the corresponding quarter. “Results were broadly in line with or estimate with Earnings Before Interest, Depreciation, Tax and Amortization (EBIDTA) at Rs 4.40 billion, a growth of 44 per cent quarter-on-quarter, while Profit After Tax came in at Rs 2.40 billion growing 34 per cent quarter-on-quarter,” equity research firm Emkay Global said in a note.

    For the full financial year 2015-16, Petronet’s net profit rose by a marginal 3.6 per cent to Rs 9.14 billion as compared to Rs 8.82 billion in the previous fiscal. Total income of the company dipped 31 per cent to Rs 273.03 billion from Rs 396.55 billion in the previous financial year. Petronet LNG is jointly promoted by state-owned firms GAIL (India), Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat petroleum Corp (BPCL). The firm operates a 10 million ton per annum (MTPC) LNG terminal at Dahej in Gujarat and a 5 mtpa terminal at Kochi in Kerala with IOC, BPCL, GAIL and GSPC as key customers.

    The company had earlier this year renegotiated its long-term contract with RasGas of Qatar for purchase of 7.5 million ton LNG for 25 years, bringing down the price to less than $5 per million British thermal units from $12 per mmbtu. Petronet is currently working on a project to expand the flagship Dahej terminal’s capacity by 5 mtpa to 15 mtpa at a cost of Rs 24 billion. The company said it has already spent more than Rs 16 billion on the project and plans to spend additional Rs 6 billion this fiscal to ensure the project is completed by the end of this year.

    The Dahej terminal processed higher-ever quantity of LNG in the fourth quarter at 149 trillion British thermal units (TBTUs) as compared to 138 TBTUs in the corresponding quarter. For the full financial year 2015-16, the terminal processed 566 TBTUs translating into a capacity utilization of 111 per cent. However, lack of pipeline connectivity impacted volumes at Kochi terminal that handled only 14 TBTUs of LNG.

    Analysts said they were upbeat on the stock due to the pickup in long-term volumes, particularly after the RasGas contract renegotiation, completion of expansion of Dahej terminal and a likely solution for the issues of pipeline connectivity at Kochi terminal. Dante Fowler Jr Womens Jersey

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