Quarterly profit at India's Vedanta surges threefold, metal, oil prices help
NEW DELHI (NewsRise) -- Indian mining and energy group Vedanta Ltd. posted a more than threefold rise in fourth-quarter net profit as metal and oil prices rose and the company's output of aluminum and power grew.
Vedanta, owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources, said net profit for the three months ended March 31 surged to 29.71 billion rupees ($463.8 million), from 8.61 billion rupees a year earlier.
Sales rose 41% to 223.71 billion rupees, the company said.
Vedanta has interests in oil and gas, iron ore, zinc, copper, power and aluminum.
Base metal producers have benefitted from higher zinc and aluminum prices that rose 10% and 8% respectively in the last quarter from the previous quarter, according to analysts.
Vedanta's operating earnings were expected to improve sequentially driven by higher prices and bigger volumes in most business segments.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization margin, a measure of operating profitability, swelled to 44% in the latest quarter from 29% in the same period the previous year. Sequentially, EBITDA margin rose 5%.
Chief Executive Officer Tom Albanese said in a statement that the "strategic focus to ramp up production across the portfolio, namely in zinc, aluminum, power and iron ore businesses throughout the year, has supplemented revenue growth."
Speaking to television channels, Albanese said he expects the growth momentum to continue this fiscal year, and added that the company would expand production of aluminum as well as of oil and gas.
Vedanta had gross debt totaling 715.69 billion rupees as of March end. As much as 86% of the borrowings comprised rupee-denominated debt with the rest in U.S. dollars. The company said it is continuing to refinance its debt with longer maturity issues and at lower interest costs.
Cash and liquid investments in the quarter totaled 634.71 billion rupees. Vedanta said it is continuing to invest in a high-quality debt portfolio with mutual funds, bonds and fixed deposits with banks.
The company also said it has completed the merger with Cairn India Ltd. Cairn has been delisted from stock exchanges and its shareholders have been issued Vedanta shares.
Shares of Vedanta closed 2% higher at 241.30 rupees, outperforming a 0.44% gain in the BSE's main index.
-By Santanu Choudhury and Dhanya Ann Thoppil