Oil giants net profits exceed pre-oil crises level

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Yash Vora

2/21/20242 min read

In the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the state-owned fuel retailers, also known as the Oil Giants—Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd., and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.—collectively reported an impressive profit exceeding Rs. 69,000 crore. This amount exceeded their annual earnings during the pre-oil crisis years.

In the April-December period of FY24, the aggregated net profit of IOC, HPCL, and BPCL was better than their annual earnings of Rs. 39,356 from the pre-oil crisis year.

The three companies, which dominate around 90 percent of India’s fuel market, have refrained from adjusting petrol, diesel, and cooking gas (LPG) prices for nearly two years, despite facing losses when the input cost was higher and enjoying profits when raw material prices were lower.

From April to September 2022, despite accounting for an LPG subsidy of Rs. 22,000 crore announced but not yet paid for the preceding two years, they reported a combined net loss of Rs. 21,201.18 crore. Following a subsequent decrease in international prices and the government's distribution of LPG subsidies, IOC and BPCL achieved annualized profits for the fiscal year 2022–23 (April 2022–March 2023). However, HPCL ended the period at a loss.

This fiscal year has witnessed a remarkable shift. The three companies achieved record earnings during the initial two quarters (April to June and July to September) as international oil prices, against which domestic rates are benchmarked, nearly halved to $72 a barrel compared to the previous year. Subsequently, international prices rose to $90 per barrel in the next quarter, leading to a moderation of their earnings. However, they still achieved significant profits for the entire year.

IOC

IOC reported a standalone net profit of Rs. 3,781.15 crore during the first nine months of the current fiscal year (April–December 2023), comparing it with the annual net profit of Rs. 8241.82 crore in 2022–23. Despite the impact of the oil crisis on FY23, the 9-month earnings surpassed the pre-crisis years, with a net profit of Rs. 24,184 crore in 2021–22 and Rs. 21,836 crore in 2020–21.

BPCL

BPCL reported a net profit of Rs. 22,449.32 crore during the nine months of the current fiscal year, showing a significant improvement from the loss of Rs. 4,607.64 crore incurred in the same period last year. This profit exceeds the earnings of Rs. 1,870.10 crore in 2022–23 and Rs. 8788.73 crore in FY22.

HPCL

HPCL reported a profit of Rs. 11,851.08 crore during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, marking a significant shift from the loss of Rs. 8,974.03 crore in FY23 and a profit of Rs. 6,382.63 crore in 2021–22.


Thank you.

Regards,

Vansh Jain,

Kautilya, IBS Mumbai.

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