Mari Petroleum’s profit jumps 33% to Rs14.7b

KARACHI: Mari Petroleum’s profit increased 33% to Rs14.75 billion in the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal year mainly due to rupee depreciation and rise in prices of oil and gas supplied from the fields.

The company had reported a profit of Rs11.06 billion in the same period of previous fiscal year, according to a notification sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday.

The profit translated into earnings per share of Rs110.55 in the half-year period compared to Rs82.89 in the same period of last year.

“A gradual increase in gas price under the new pricing policy 2013-14 and 14% depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar helped the company report a higher profit for six months,” Arif Habib Limited Deputy Head of Research Tahir Abbas told The Express Tribune.

He elaborated that the government increased the gas price for Mari field under the new pricing policy.

The hike was made in a phased manner. Accordingly, the company got the maximum allowed price increase in the half year under review compared to 93% in the corresponding period of previous fiscal year.

“Secondly, rupee depreciation benefits all oil and gas exploration firms in the country as they sell hydrocarbon in dollars,” he said.

Moreover, the company’s finance income – emanating from bank deposits and short and long-term investments – soared to Rs2.56 billion in Jul-Dec 2019 compared to Rs651 million in the corresponding period of last year.

The board of directors of the company recommended an interim cash dividend of Rs4.10 per share. The entitlement will be paid to the shareholders whose names appear in the register of members on February 14, 2020.

Net sales increased 19% to Rs34.55 billion in the half year under review compared to Rs28.99 billion in the corresponding period of last year. The surge in revenue was mainly due to the revised wellhead price for Mari gas field.

Exploration cost surged 42% to Rs3.51 billion compared to Rs2.48 billion last year on account of acquisition of seismic data from two blocks.

Alone in the second quarter ended December 31, 2019, the profit of Mari Petroleum increased to Rs7.29 billion (earnings per share Rs54.61) compared to Rs5.92 billion (earnings per share Rs44.35) in the same quarter of last year.

During the day, Mari Petroleum’s share price dropped Rs2.52, or 0.17%, to Rs1,447.15 with trading in 12,460 shares at the PSX.

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