Economy

BPCL declares record Rs 12,581 cr dividend ahead of privatisation

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BPCL

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on Wednesday declared a record Rs 12,581 crore dividend, quite half of which can attend the govtbefore the privatisation of the corporate.

In a regulatory filing, BPCL said its ‘Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of Rs 58 per equity share (including a one-time special dividend of Rs 35 per equity share of Rs 10 each) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 subject to the approval of the shareholders.’ The dividend works bent Rs 12,581.66 crore, including a special dividend of Rs 7592.38 crore.

The government, which is selling its entire 52.98 percent stake in BPCL, will get Rs 6,665.76 crore plus dividend distribution tax.

The dividend declared is additionally to the interim dividend of Rs 21 per share paid earlier within the fiscal.

The company didn’t give any reason for declaring the record dividend but the firm had received Rs 9,876 crore from the sale of its 61.5 percent stake in Numaligarh refinery in Assam to a consortium of Oil India Ltd, Engineers India Ltd, and therefore the Government of Assam in March.

Almost simultaneously, the firm had bought 36.62 percent of the equity held by OQ S.A.O.C (formerly referred to as Oman company S.A.O.C) within the Bina refinery for Rs 2,399.26 crore.

The net gain made by BPCL after the 2 deals was Rs 7,477 crore — almost an equivalent amount because of the special dividend declared on Wednesday.

For the financial year ended March 31, 2021 (FY 2020-21), BPCL reported a record standalone net income of Rs 19,041.67 crore on the rear of the stake sale also as a better refining margin resulting from inventory gains accruing from rebounding oil prices.

The profit compared with Rs 2,683.19 crore net income in 2019-20, the filing showed.

In the January-March quarter, net income rose to Rs 11,940.13 crore from Rs 2,777.62 crore a year back.

The firm earned USD 4.06 on turning every barrel of petroleum into fuel in FY21 as compared to a gross refining margin of USD 2.50 per barrel a year back.

Also, the corporate made a gain of Rs 199.75 crore on exchange as compared to a loss of Rs 1,662.34 crore in FY20.

‘The market sales of the Corporation for the year ended 31st March 2021 was 38.74 million tonnes as compared to 43.10 million tonnes achieved during the year ended 31st March 2020.

‘Decrease is especially in diesel (-10.66%), petrol (-7.83%), ATF (-60.32%) and partly offset by a rise in LPG (6.24%),’ the firm said.

Commenting on the fourth-quarter earnings, BPCL Director (Finance) N Vijayagopal said, ‘We witnessed a V-shaped recovery within the last half of the fiscal year leading to robust growth in fuel sales.’ ‘In an unprecedented year that began with a lockdown across the country and subdued business and economic activities, the fourth quarter was a stand-out quarter that helped the corporate to report its highest-ever growth in bottom-line,’ he said.

BPCL market sales of diesel grew by 5.98 percent and petrol by 9.89 percent.

‘Our debt level has come right down to a traditional level of Rs 26,000 crore,’ he said.

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