Coal India beats Q2 profit view on high power demand amid weak monsoon

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Coal India on Friday reported better-than-expected second-quarter profit, helped by high power demand and boosted production amid a weak monsoon.

The state-run miner posted a consolidated net profit of 68 billion rupees ($816.3 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up 12.5% from last year.

It also beat analysts’ estimate of 63.70 billion rupees, as per LSEG data.

Power demand in India, which usually peaks in May due to extreme summer heat, remained high in the reporting quarter due to unusually dry weather and higher economic activity, amid a drop in hydroelectric output.

The country’s power demand hit a high of 241 gigwatts (GW) in the second quarter, surpassing the Central Electricity Authority’s target of 230 GW for fiscal 2024 as hydropower generation fell 11% due to reduced rainfall caused by El Nino, Elara Capital said in a note.

Thermal power – derived from burning fuels such as coal – had to fill the gap as nearly 75% of India’s power generation comes from the fossil fuel.

Coal India’s revenue grew 9.8% to 327.76 billion rupees, also beating the estimates, as production of raw coal jumped 13.1%. Analysts had expected a revenue of 323.66 billion rupees.

Total expenses grew 9.4% to 260 billion rupees on the back of higher employee and contractual expenses. However, its raw materials cost fell 15.1%.

The company also declared its first interim dividend of 15.25 rupees per share for the ongoing financial year.

In May, Coal India had raised prices of non-coking coal by 8% for high grades, which it said would add an extra revenue of 27.03 billion rupees in the balance of the fiscal.

($1 = 83.3040 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)