New Delhi: State-run NTPC Ltd, India’s largest power generator, said on Friday that net profit rose 12% in the March quarter from a year earlier as it benefited from higher electricity output and improved efficiency, but full-year profit growth was crimped due to the reduction in earnings from interest.
Net profit rose to Rs1,946 crore from Rs1,739.5 crore a year ago. Revenue rose 3.8% to Rs13,213 crore.
For the year ended 31 March, profit rose 5.6% to Rs8,656.53 crore from Rs8,201.30 crore in the preceding year, maintaining the growth in net income seen in 2008-09.
NTPC will update the provisional numbers announced on Friday with audited earnings later.
“Our profit should have been higher, but for reasons such as reduction in interest income as bonds were getting redeemed. While in the last fiscal there was a tax refund, it has not been the case this year,” chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma said.
“It is in line with expectations primarily because capacity addition was low and there was higher tax refund in 2008-09 as compared with the last fiscal,” said Rupesh Sankhe, an equity research analyst at Angel Broking Ltd.
In a related development, the utility has written to the Nigerian government to extend a memorandum of understanding due to expire in May to secure the supply of 3 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for its fuel-starved plants in India. The deal has been delayed after a change of government in Nigeria in 2007.
In return, NTPC was to build a 700MW gas-fired power plant and a 500MW coal-based plant in Nigeria, and renovate a 200MW unit at a 1,320MW plant. It had also offered to train around 30 Nigerian engineers and set up a training institute in that country.
Nigeria has 36.2 billion barrels of proven oil resources and is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It has the second largest hydrocarbon reserves in Africa after Libya. India is offering help to Nigeria to build infrastructure, especially power plants, following China’s strategy to secure access to oil and gas blocks in energy-rich Africa.
NTPC’s stock on Friday fell Rs1.55, or 0.75%, to Rs205.10 at close on the Bombay Stock Exchange; the benchmark Sensex index rose 120.21 points, or 0.68%, to 17,694.20.