January 30, 2018 / 9:11 AM / 6 months ago

IOC Q3 profit beats estimates on higher inventory gains

(Reuters) - Indian Oil Corp Ltd said its third-quarter profit nearly doubled, handily beating estimates, as the company booked higher inventory gains due to a sharp rise in global oil prices.

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Indian Oil is seen on the shirt of an employee at a fuel station in New Delhi, India August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

Oil prices have rallied by more than 30 percent since OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to limit production from January 2017.

Net profit surged 97 percent to 78.83 billion rupees ($1.24 billion) in the quarter ended Dec. 31, well above the average estimate of 51.49 billion rupees, Thomson Reuters data showed. bit.ly/2nnsaHG

The company posted an inventory gain of 63.01 billion rupees on crude and refined products in the quarter compared with 30.51 billion rupees a year ago, said A.K. Sharma, director of finance, at a press conference on Tuesday.

Average gross refining margin (GRM) improved to $8.28 per barrel in the April-December period from $7.36 per barrel in the year-ago period, the country’s top refiner said.

Excluding inventory gains, the company posted GRM of $7.42 per barrel for the quarter compared to $5.10 per barrel a year ago, said Chairman Sanjiv Singh.

Shares of the company rose as much as 5.7 percent, before closing up 4.2 percent in a broader Mumbai market that ended 0.73 percent lower.

($1 = 63.7300 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Jessica Kuruthukulangara; Additional reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Sunil Nair

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