India’s Bharat Petroleum misses Q4 profit view on lower marketing margins,


BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) posted a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by lower marketing margins and higher raw material costs.

The state-owned firm’s standalone net profit fell nearly 35% to 42.24 billion rupees (about $506 million), well below analysts’ estimate of 52.66 billion rupees, per LSEG data.

BPCL, the country’s third-largest oil refiner by capacity, said its average gross refining margin – the profit from making refined products from one barrel of oil – was $14.14 per barrel for the year ended March 31, compared to $20.24 per barrel a year earlier.

India, the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer, has been buying Russian oil at discounted rates in recent years, which has helped domestic refiners mitigate the impact of higher global crude oil prices.

However, a decline in Russian discounts in the previous fiscal year and lower fuel prices in India ahead of ongoing national elections have hurt refining margins of companies such as Bharat Petroleum.

Globally, crude oil prices jumped nearly 14% in the January-March period.

BPCL’s revenue from operations fell 1% to 1.32 trillion rupees, while raw material costs rose nearly 3% to 565.53 billion rupees.

State-run peers, Indian Oil Corp and Hindustan Petroleum also reported a decline in quarterly profit.

Separately, Bharat Petroleum approved a bonus issue of shares in the ratio of 1:1 and declared a final dividend of 10.5 rupees per share.

($1 = 83.4718 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Manvi Pant in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)

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