Kolkata: Coal India Ltd’s net profit in the quarter ended 31 December grew an annual 8.85% to Rs.4,395.11 crore, largely due to higher production and, to a lesser extent, sales.
The state-owned miner sold 120.45 million tonnes (mt) of coal during the quarter, 9.23% higher than the same period last year. This translated into a net revenue of Rs.17,325.04 crore, up an annual 12.9%.
Coal India’s shares rose 0.8% to Rs.347.80 on BSE, while the Sensex gained 0.24% to 19,608.08 points.
In the past few months, production outpaced sales growth, evident from the increase in its unsold stock since December.
In the past two-and-a-half months, the miner’s pithead stock, or unsold coal, increased by 5.3 mt to 47 mt, according to chairman S. Narsing Rao.
Coal India was able to reduce its unsold stock till the end of November, he said, but from December, it again started to go up.
Evacuation of coal from mines wasn’t a constraint, though. The company said in a statement that during the October-December period, railway rake availability improved and it managed to dispatch on average 190 rakes a day compared with 172 rakes in the same period a year ago.
The company is on course to achieve its 2012-13 production target of 464 mt, according to Rao. In the remaining 47 days of the financial year, the company has to raise production by around 10% and sales by 11.5% to achieve its targets for the year, he said.
Though the company’s production cost has started to increase on account of diesel price being raised for bulk consumers, Rao said there was no immediate proposal to raise prices. For every rupee increase in diesel price, the firm’s cost of mining goes up by Rs.120 crore, he added.
Coal sales in the first nine months of the financial year (April-December) grew 8% to 335.23 mt, compared with 310.25 mt in the same period a year ago. Around 75% of this was sold to power producers, and the company’s supplies to thermal power stations during the nine months till December increased 11.1% over last year to 246.78 mt, it said in a statement.
Production growth of 6.1% in the first three quarters to 291.24 mt was in line with the management’s expectations. “We need to grow faster,” Rao said.