BUSINESS

‘Retail fuel prices aligned with international prices’

HPCL Q4 net plummets 99% to Rs. 27 cr.

Retail prices of petrol and diesel are aligned to international product prices, Mukesh Kumar Surana, CMD, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), said, after the company, along with other oil retailers, increased the price of petrol and diesel for the tenth consecutive day on Tuesday.

HPCL also reported a 99% fall in its fourth quarter net profit to Rs. 27 crore, mainly because of Rs. 4,113 crore in inventory losses and Rs. 975 crore of forex losses. The fall in profit came on the back of a 2% decline in revenue to Rs. 71,268 crore on account of a sharp decline in crude prices.

Asked about the increase in retail prices of petrol and diesel, Mr. Surana said, “When crude oil prices have gone up from $13 a barrel to around $40 a barrel, the increase in product prices is logical. We didn’t revise the fuel prices during lockdown so now we have aligned our product prices with global product prices.”

The average gross refining margins (GRMs) for the quarter stood at a negative $1.23 per barrel, compared with $4.51 per barrel a year earlier.

“The lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic in India led to significant demand contraction in the last part of March 2020 necessitating regulated refinery operations,” said Mr. Surana.

To enhance its overseas footprint, HPCL had tied up with State Trade Corporation of Bhutan Limited for setting up of retail outlets and supply of motor fuels in Bhutan. “HPCL also achieved highest export of lubes in current financial year,” he said.

For 2019-20, HPCL has proposed a final dividend of Rs. 9.75 per share.

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