MUMBAI: State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) posted an increase of 70% in its net profit, helped by inventory gain and rupee appreciation that offset a dip in refinery margins.

Net profit came in at 2,969.92 crore during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2019 against 1,747.89 during the corresponding period previous year, the company said in a filing to the BSE.

Total income came in at 73,672.50 crore for the quarter against 66,983.38 crore during the corresponding previous quarter.

Other expenses for the fiscal year includes 578.92 crore towards loss on account of foreign currency transactions and translations. During fiscal 2018, the company recorded a gain of 322.39 crore on account of foreign currency transactions.

The company recorded an average gross refining margin of $5.01 per barrel against $7.40 per barrel during the corresponding previous year.

During the quarter, Singapore gross refining margins (GRMs) averaged at $3.2 per barrel for the fourth quarter, declining 25% quarter-on-quarter due to a crash in light distillate cracks.

Average Dated Brent price fell 7% quarter-on-quarter at $63.1 per barrel in Q4. However, toward the second half, prices moved up due to Iranian/Venezuelan sanctions and OPEC cuts, and between the quarter ends, closed $14 per barrel higher, implying inventory gains for refiners.

The board recommended an interim dividend of 6.50 per equity share and a final dividend of 9.40 per equity share.

HPCL's scrip closed at 293.60 a piece, up 6.78% on the BSE.

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