COVID-19 impact: Petronet net profit slips 7% in Q1

Petronet LNG Ltd, the nation's largest liquid gas importer, reported a better than expected profitability in the June quarter as its operations had a modest impact of lockdown because of a quick recovery in later part of the quarter.

The standalone net profit at Rs 520.23 crore, or Rs 3.47 per share, was 7.1 per cent lower than Rs 560.27 crore, or Rs 3.74 a share, net profit in the same period a year back, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Revenue fell 43 per cent to Rs 4951.9 crore in the first quarter of the current 2020-21 fiscal.

Following the March 25 nationwide lockdown, Indian LNG imports fell in April as user industries were temporarily shut.

Average gas send-out from Petronet's 17.5 million tonne a year Dahej LNG import terminal fell to less than 60 per cent of the capacity in April, down from over 88 per cent in the previous month.

Post first week of June when the lockdown was relaxed, the demand for gas saw a gradual recovery and since then the Dahej terminal is operating at its full capacity of 17.5 million tonne per annum (63 million standard cubic meters per day).

Before COVID-19, average send-out during January-February was around 58 mmscmd (92 per cent of the capacity) at the Dahej terminal and 3.57 mmscmd (20 per cent) at 5 million tonne a year at the Kochi terminal in Kerala.

Commenting on the earnings, ICICI Securities said, "despite 55-60 per cent utilisation in Dahej in April, Petronet managed 83 per cent utilisation in Q1 suggesting a quick recovery through the rest of Q1." Analysts were expecting the standalone net profit to come in at around Rs 490 crore.

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