ONGC Q4 net profit falls 40 percent

Mumbai, May 29 (IANS) State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) Wednesday reported a 40 percent fall in net profit for the fourth quarter ended March on the back of a drop in oil and gas output.

ONGC chairman Sudhir Vasudeva told mediapersons here that net profit for the quarter in question was Rs.3,387 crore as against Rs.5,644 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal.

Oil output during the quarter fell to 5.62 million tonnes from 5.78 million tonnes in the same period a year ago.

Natural gas production also dropped to 5.58 billion cubic metres (bcm) from 6.03 bcm in January-March 2012, Vasudeva said.

Further, there was a steep rise in the company's outgo on account of statutory levies. The cess on crude oil as well as royalty payments rose by Rs.1,043 crore in the quarter.

During the previous financial year, the government had raised cess on crude oil to Rs.4,500 per tonne from Rs.2,500.

An additional provision of Rs.1,698 crore was made towards increased operating expenditure due to the employee benefit scheme.

Payment of statutory levies increased from Rs.4,521 crore in the fourth quarter of 2011-12 to Rs.5,561 crore in the same quarter of 2012-13, said ONGC director (finance) A.K. Banerjee.

ONGC had to spend Rs.12,312 crore in the quarter ended March 2013 on account of the subsidised sales of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene

Vasudeva said ONGC profits would have been higher by Rs.6,900 crore in the quarter, but for the payments on account of subsidy.

The company's March 2013 quarter sales increased 13.1 percent at Rs.21,460 crore.

ONGC's turnover in 2012-13 fiscal year rose by 8.4 percent to Rs.82,552 crore.

The company plans to invest Rs.35,049 crore in 2013-14, up from Rs.29,503 crore in the previous fiscal, Vasudeva said.

ONGC shares Wednesday closed 0.21 percent higher at Rs.334 per share on the BSE.

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