Besides robust refining margins, the profit was aided by a boost in marketing margins as a freeze on petrol and diesel price revision despite a fall in input crude oil prices helped recover losses incurred when rates were high last year.
Pre-tax earnings from sale of petroleum products soared to Rs 17,755.95 crore in the second quarter of the current fiscal compared to Rs 104.04 crore in the same period last year.
IOC uses mostly imported crude oil to make fuels such as petrol, diesel and LPG at its refineries. These are then sold through its vast network of petrol pumps and LPG distributor agencies.
Last year, state-owned fuel retailers IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) froze prices despite a spike in global oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This was with a view to insulating consumers from price volatility.
The price freeze led to the three firms incurring losses in the first half of 2022-23 fiscal (April 2022 to March 2023). IOC incurred a loss of Rs 2,264.88 crore in April-September 2022. This year, it, however, posted record earnings of Rs 26,717.76 crore in April-September , more than the Rs 24,184 crore record net profit the company posted in 2021-22.
Its revenues fell to Rs 2.02 lakh crore in July-September from Rs 2.28 lakh crore last year on lower oil prices.
Later in a statement, IOC said the profit was a result of “higher marketing margin and lower exchange losses.”
IOC said it earned USD 13.12 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel in April-September 2023 against a gross refining margin of USD 25.49 in the corresponding period last year. It did not give quarterly refining margins.
The company sold 21.941 million tonne of petroleum products in the September quarter, up from 21.562 million tonne last year but lower than 23.305 million tonne sales in the preceding quarter.
Its refineries processed 17.772 million tonne of crude oil into fuel during July-September, up from 16.1 million tonne last year.
IOC said its board of directors declared an interim dividend of Rs 5 per share for the current fiscal.
Company chairman S M Vaidya said IOC sold 47.651 million tonne of petroleum products, including exports, during the period April-September.
“Our refining throughput for first six months of FY 2023-24 was 36.524 million tonne and the throughput of the corporation’s countrywide pipelines network was 48.821 million tonne during the period.”