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BW Businessworld

At An All-Time High

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It’s been a good year for R.K. Singh, who stepped down recently as chairman and managing director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), handing over the reins to S. Varadarajan. In 2012-13, BPCL achieved its highest ever profit after tax (PAT) in a financial year — Rs 1,936 crore, which was nearly double of the Rs 851 crore PAT in the previous year.

Powered by higher refinery throughput and sales, BPCL reported 14 per cent growth in gross revenue from Rs 2,13,596 crore in 2011-12. Its consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) margin improved to 3.4 per cent from 3 per cent. The performance was helped by better gross refining margins — $4.97 a barrel against $2.29 a barrel a year ago. In FY13, BPCL incurred under-recoveries of Rs 3,900 crore, most of which was reimbursed.

BPCL’s refinery throughput was the highest in five years — 23.21 million metric tonnes (mmt) — as was the production of petroleum products — 21.84 mmt.

Market sales volumes were 33.30 mmt, 6.4 per cent higher than the previous year. “All six major businesses continued to deliver strong results. Marketing of petroleum products remained the core strength,” said Singh to shareholders about the 2012-13 performance.

Except for the Assam refinery, all others — at Mumbai and Kochi and the joint venture Bharat Oman Refineries — set new benchmarks in production. With a capacity utilisation of 109 per cent, the Mumbai refinery had a throughput of 13.10 mmt. Its gross refining margin improved to $4.67 per barrel from just $1.73 per barrel the previous year; and the overall gross margin to Rs 2,499 crore, from Rs 831 crore a year ago (partly due to the high rupee-dollar exchange rate).

The Kochi refinery achieved a throughput of 10.1 mmt in 2012-13, compared to 9.56 mmt a year ago. The gross refining margin was $5.36 per barrel, amounting to Rs 2,211 crore in gross margins — the highest it has achieved in a single fiscal.

BPCL’s retail sales volume climbed 9.6 per cent — the most among oil marketing companies. Higher retail diesel prices helped reduce under-recoveries. The company reported a throughput of 188 kilolitres per month — its best till now, and 20 per cent higher than the industry average. The loyalty programmes generated an all-time-high turnover of over Rs 18,000 crore.

BPCL’s total LPG sales for the year stood at 3,884 thousand metric tonne, giving it a marketshare of 25.9 per cent. It enrolled 3.06 million new domestic customers, taking the customer base to 37.38 million by the end of the year. Varadarajan can surely look forward to a comfortable ride next year.

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 04-11-2013)