HPCL posts loss before tax of Rs 2,653 crore for Q4 on inventory woes

Topics HPCL results | HPCL Q4 | Q4 earnings

During January-March 2020, HPCL recorded a domestic sales volume of 9.25 million tonne (MT) against 10.03 MT in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) posted a consolidated loss before tax of Rs 2,653 crore for the fourth quarter of financial year 2019-20 compared to Rs 5,067 crore profit (before tax) during the same period in the previous year. This is because of inventory losses and exchange rate fluctuations.

HPCL has written down Rs 1,002.93 crore because of inventory losses due to “drastic fall in oil prices accompanied with reduced movement in inventory.” The net impact amounts to Rs 750.51 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2020.

For the period January-March 2020, the company registered gross sales of Rs 71,367 crore, down 2 per cent compared to Rs 72,925 crore for the same time in 2018-19. Sales were lower mainly on account of a sharp fall in crude prices during the March quarter.

The consolidated profit before tax for 2019-20 dropped 86 per cent to Rs 1,374 crore compared to Rs 10,039 crore during the fourth quarter of 2018-19.

Net sales also saw a drop of 3 per cent from Rs 295,987 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 286,574 crore during the financial year 2019-20. The combined gross refining margin (GRM) during the period January to March 2020 saw a negative (-)$1.23 a barrel as compared to $4.51 a barrel in the corresponding period of the last year.

During the fourth quarter, HPCL has posted an inventory loss of Rs 4,113 crore compared to an inventory gain of Rs 1,234 crore during the same time last year.

For the entire financial year 2019-20, inventory loss was seen at Rs 4,253 crore against an inventory gain of Rs 1,363 crore in 2018-19. Also, the company had a foreign exchange loss of Rs 975 crore compared to a gain of Rs 256 crore in January-March 2019.

HPCL chairman and managing director M K Surana said not accounting for inventory loss, the GRM was $9.37 per barrel during the quarter under review, compared to $0.85 a barrel in the same period last year.

“Demand was low during the lockdown and came down to as low as 30 per cent of normal fuel demand in April. From April 20, demand started picking up. In May, it came to 65-70 per cent. As of June, we have touched 80-85 per cent of what it was during the same time last year on petrol and diesel,” Surana said.

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