Essar Energy reports 18% rise in core earnings

Last Updated: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 21:44

New Delhi: Essar Energy plc, an India- focused integrated energy company, Monday reported a 18 percent rise in core earnings in the six months ended September 30 on back of its British Stanlow refinery turnaround.

The London-listed firm said operational earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was USD 383 million in April-September.

The company, which recently changed its accounting period, had USD 324 million EBITDA in first half of previous fiscal.

Essar said Stanlow, the second largest UK refinery which Essar acquired from Royal Dutch Shell last year, had operational EBITDA of USD 197 million in the first half.

Group revenue went up by 97 percent to USD 12.8 billion primarily due to higher refining revenues in India from higher capacity and revenue due to the acquisition of Stanlow," the company said in a press statement said.

Essar said its Vadinar refinery in Gujarat is now operating at 20 million tonnes per annum capacity after all expansion units were ramped up and stabilised. The unit earned USD 6.41 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel in H1 as against a gross refining margin (GRM) of USD 4.75 per barrel a year ago.

GRM rose to USD 11 per barrel in September, it said.

Stanlow GRM averaged USD 8.03 per barrel in H1 as against USD 3.1 a barrel in first eight months of ownership.

Essar took over Stanlow from Shell on July 31. The unit earned a EBITDA of USD 197.2 million in H1 as compared to USD 22.2 million in first eight months of ownership.

The company said its power generation capacity has more than doubled since April 2012.

Essar said it is "exploring options to reduce interest costs for the group and extend debt repayment profile."

Essar Energy CEO Naresh Nayyar said, "We have made good progress during the half year to improve margins at both our Vadinar and Stanlow refineries".

At Vadinar, the firm is capitalising on new, higher complexity units by selling large volumes of high value diesel into India and have resolved all outstanding sales tax and related funding issues, he said.

Stanlow refinery on the other hand delivered a very substantial increase in EBITDA on the back of a good operating performance and favourable market conditions.

"We have several further projects underway at Stanlow to deliver significant additional margin enhancements," he said.

In power, the company commissioned Salaya I and Vadinar P2 coal fired projects to give the company a total of 3,310 MW of capacity.

"The last six months has seen significant progress on our growth projects and the transition to becoming an operational energy business continues with the majority of our capex programme now complete," Nayyar said. "We are a very different company to the one that listed two and a half years ago with many of the key risks from that time now behind us."


First Published: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 21:44

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