India’s HPCL posts biggest quarterly profit in a decade

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) on Wednesday posted its biggest quarterly profit in more than a decade, aided by higher marketing margins and a fall in crude prices.

The state-owned refiner posted a net profit of 62.04 billion rupees ($750.8 million) for the quarter ended June 30, its highest since March 2013, from a loss of 101.97 billion rupees a year ago.

It also beat analysts’ estimate of 49.59 billion rupees as per Refinitiv IBES data.

Refining companies, including HPCL, benefitted from an average 30.6% fall in oil prices from a year ago in the quarter.

Indian fuel retailers sold fuel at a loss last year as oil prices surged and supply chains were hit by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The companies recovered some of those losses in the quarter on higher marketing margins, analysts said.

HPCL’s input costs declined 12.5%, and total expenses fell 17.8% to 1.11 trillion rupees.

Sale of products was slightly down to 1.19 trillion rupees, much like its peers Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp.

However, the company posted highest-ever quarterly domestic sales volume of 11.43 million metric tonnes (MMT).

The company’s marketing arm also registered its highest-ever quarterly sales of 11.85 MMT, a 10.7% growth.

The company said its average gross refining margin – profit from making refined products from one barrel of oil – was $7.44 per barrel for the quarter, compared to $16.69 per barrel a year ago.

Last week, other state-owned refiners Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum also posted profits on higher marketing margins.

Shares of HPCL closed 3% down ahead of the results. The stock rose 15.6% during the June quarter.

($1 = 82.6370 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Biplob Kumar Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)