Mumbai: Essar Oil Ltd on Tuesday reported a sevenfold gain in fiscal third-quarter profit, boosted by a record high gross refining margin of $13.25 per barrel.

The company, whose shares will stop trading on the exchanges from Wednesday (10 February) following its delisting, said net profit, excluding those of its units, rose to 364 crore from 52 crore in the year-ago period.

Standalone total income from operations for the company, which runs India’s second biggest private sector refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat, fell 46% to 10,909 crore from 20,295 crore a year ago because of falling oil prices and a planned shutdown of its refinery.

Russian oil and gas giant OAO Rosneft is in advanced stage of concluding its due diligence for acquiring a stake in Essar Oil, said Essar Oil’s managing director and chief executive officer Lalit Kumar Gupta at a post earnings conference call on Tuesday.

Essar Oil, in July, signed an exclusive non-binding term sheet with Rosneft to sell an equity stake of up to 49%. In December, the company offered 262.80 per share to its public shareholders, an 80% premium to the floor price of 146.05 per share, to complete its delisting process, Essar Oil said in its December statement.

On Tuesday, Gupta declined to comment on speculation around a stake sale to national oil companies of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Bloomberg last week reported that Essar Oil was in talks with Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil company Saudi Aramco and National Iranian Oil Co. to sell a stake in its refinery.

The refinery’s output during the quarter fell to 4.24 million tonnes (mt) down from 5.19 mt a year ago because of 15 days of refinery shutdown during the quarter.

Gross refining margin (GRM) for the latest quarter was at $13.25 per barrel, the highest ever for the company, Essar Oil said. GRM was $7 in the same quarter last year.

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