State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd on Wednesday reported a 31 per cent jump in its December quarter net profit after the company was exempt from paying fuel subsidy.
Net profit in October-December period rose to Rs. 1,679 crore, or Rs. 13.24 per share, from Rs. 1,285 crore, or Rs. 10.13 a share, chairman and managing director B C Tripathi told reporters here.
Besides not having to pay any fuel subsidy, the company also sold 60 million out of 210 million shares in China Gas.
“We bought the shares at $1.15 per share and sold at $8.2. After paying capital gains tax, the impact of stake sale on profit after tax (net profit) is Rs. 345 crore,” he said. “But for this gain, the PAT would have increased by 9 per cent.”
GAIL still holds a 3 per cent stake in China Gas, he said.
Sales soared 28 per cent to Rs. 15,981 crore in the quarter ended december 2013 from Rs. 12,474 crore in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year (FY13).
Mr Tripathi said the government had decided to cap GAIL’s contribution towards fuel subsidy at Rs. 1,400 crore, which was already paid in first six months of current fiscal year (FY14).
Upstream oil and gas producers like ONGC and GAIL meet a part of the revenue that fuel retailers lose on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene. GAIL is not picking any further subsidy bill in third quarter and fourth quarter.
Revenue rose on account of increase in price of gas as GAIL sold 8.6 million standard cubic metres per day of imported LNG in third quarter as against 3.2 mmscmd a year ago, Mr Tripathi said.
There, however, was a shortfall of 12 mmscmd in gas transmitted by GAIL through its pipeline network due to lower volumes available from Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 fields and BG Group-operated Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields, he said.
GAIL imported 8 shiploads or cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in December quarter as against 3 cargoes a year ago.
In the fourth quarter, it plans to import 7 cargoes taking the total to 26 shiploads for the full fiscal year, he said.
The company lowered the capex for FY15 to Rs. 3,300 crore as compared to Rs. 4,400 crore this fiscal year, he added.