IOC posts loss of Rs 414.27 crore; warns of chaos

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New Delhi, May 28 (UNI) Faced with huge under-recoveries, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country's largest refinery, today reported a net loss of Rs 414.27 crore for the quarter ended March 2008, against a net profit of Rs 1,502.69 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Addresing a press conference here, IOC CMD Sarthak Behuria, however, said the total income rose to Rs 71,792.82 crore for the quarter under review, from Rs 53,818.75 crore in the same period a year-ago. This is a significant 33 per cent increase in revenues.

Mr Behuria said at the existing domestic price, the cosumer was not aware of the sensitivity of the global crude oil prices and the subsidisation by oil marketing companies (OMCs). In short, the demand being high, the revenues have bolstered, but losses have mounted.

The company's board which met here this morning declared a dividend of 55 per cent for the year 2007-08.

For the full-year ended March 2008, IOC reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 6,983 crore, against a net profit of Rs 7,867.45 crore in the year-ago period, a decline of 7.16 per cent.

The Profit after Tax for the year was after considering the compensation of Rs 18,997 crore in the form of oil bonds issued by the Union Government.

The total income rose during the year to Rs 2,32,558.62 crore from Rs 2,02,694 crore in the same period a year ago.

Shares of the company closed at Rs 428, up by 1.53 per cent on the BSE.

Mr Behuria warned of chaotic conditions where fuel may be rationed if a decision on prices is not taken soon.

He said there were long queues in South India, where there is shortage of diesel and LPG cylinders.

The IOC CMD said there was huge diversion of LPG adding that this needs to be corrected forthwith.

The Fortune 500 Company Chief said IOC has ''taken a call'' to restrict sales to a reasonable level, indicating some form of rationing of these products.

''Obviously, we are not going to import at a loss,'' he quipped.

IOC, which like other OMCs, has been prevented from raising prices of petrol and petroleum products will soon run out of borrowing limtis to buy oil products for retail if immediate measures were not taken to correct the under-recoveries, Mr Behurai said.

He said his company has funds only till September to buy crude oil at the present rate hovering around 135 dollars per barrel, incurring broadly a loss of Rs 20 per litre on petrol alone.


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