New Delhi: Cairn India, the operator of the nation's biggest onland oilfield, Monday reported 17 percent increase in net profit on the back of higher crude oil production.
Net profit in the January-March quarter at Rs 2,563.6 crore was 17 percent more than Rs 2,186.23 crore in the same period a year ago, company CEO P Elango said here.
The company's sales rose 19.5 percent to Rs 4,363.36 crore as against Rs 3,651.34 crore during the fourth quarter of the financial year 2011-12.
Its gross operated production increased 19 percent to 205,323 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). The rise was primarily due to a 32 percent year-on-year increase in output from the prolific Rajasthan block.
Cairn posted a foreign exchange loss of Rs 2.8 crore during the fourth quarter, compared to a loss of Rs 216.95 crore during the same quarter last year.
"Our focus is hugely on exploration activities. In the next three years, we are looking to invest about Rs 5,000 crore in 450 wells in Rajasthan," Elango said, adding that Cairn has asked the government for return of the area it had surrendered contractually.
"In 2013-14, we are looking at increasing the production to 215,000 barrels per day," he said.
Production from the Rajasthan block is currently at 175,000 bpd. The company is looking to use its USD 3 billion cash reserve mainly on exploration.
The company board has recommended a final dividend of Rs 6.5 per share, resulting in a total dividend of Rs 11.5 per share for the year.
"In FY 2012-13, we have achieved spectacular results delivering best in class production growth and operating costs," he said.
He added that the operating environment has also substantially improved with key approvals coming in at a faster pace that enabled the company to ramp up Mangala production, bring Aishwariya field online, commence gas sales and most importantly re-commence exploration in Rajasthan.
"We have initiated the largest ever exploration and appraisal programme in our history to unlock further potential in Rajasthan as well as focus on our next stage of growth beyond Rajasthan. Commensurate with the development and exploration activity across the existing portfolio, we plan for a net capital investment of USD 3 billion through FY2015-16," Elango said.
Cairn shares fell 0.1 percent to Rs 293.10 on the BSE. They have declined 8.2 percent this year compared with a 1.3 percent loss in the benchmark Sensex.