IOC profit doubles in Q3 on inventory gains

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New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Friday said its December quarter net profit more than doubled to Rs 4,916.59 crore as rising oil prices yielded inventory gains and a rise in petrochemical margins.

The net profit in October-December 2020 was 110 per cent higher than Rs 2,339.02 crore earning in the same period a year back.

'Net profit increased because of inventory gains and higher petrochemical margin,' IOC Chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya told reporters here.

With international oil prices rising above the rate at which the company had contracted crude oil, IOC logged Rs 2,630 crore of inventory gains in the quarter.

He said the company's refineries earned USD 2.19 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel in the third quarter as compared a gross refining margin of USD 4.09 a barrel in the same period last year.

With fuel demand witnessing a month-on-month increase for four consecutive months, refinery runs have returned to full capacity, he said.

Refinery runs had been cut to half when the lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

'Economy is looking up after the vaccine became available,' he said. 'Fuel demand was just 1 per cent below normal in the third quarter (October-December) and is likely to return to normal in the fourth quarter (January-March). Next year we will see growth in fuel consumption.' Barring jet fuel (ATF), all other fuel consumptions are near normal now.

The revenue from operations was Rs 1,46,599 crore in the quarter under review as compared to Rs 1,44,835 crore in the year-ago period.

The Board of Directors of IOC in its meeting held on Friday declared an interim dividend of Rs 7.50 per equity share.

Vaidya said domestic sales were 21.425 million tonnes in the third quarter as compared to 21.864 million tonnes a year back.

Refinery throughput or turnover was higher at 17.86 million tonnes when compared with 17.496 million tonnes in the third quarter of the previous year.

Pipeline throughput too was higher at 21.8 million tonnes.

'Our refining throughput for the first nine months of FY 2020-21 was 44.759 million tonnes compared to 52.31 million tonnes last year,' he said. PTI ANZ ANU