KARACHI: Pakistan Oilfields Limited’s (POL) consolidated profit rose 41% to Rs11.14 billion in nine months ended March 31, 2019 mainly due to higher net sales and income from other than core business.
The oil and gas exploration firm had recorded a profit of Rs7.89 billion in the same period last year, the company reported in a notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday.
Its earnings per share rose to Rs39.24 in Jul-Mar FY19 compared to Rs27.76 in the same period of previous year.
POL’s share price improved 0.50%, or Rs2.21, and closed at Rs446.06 with trading in 33,800 shares at the PSX.
POL’s improved profit was “led by higher oil prices (up 19% in the past one year) and currency devaluation,” said Topline Securities’ analyst Nabeel Khursheed in post-result comments.
Net sales grew 49% to Rs33.59 billion in Jul-Mar FY19 compared to Rs22.59 billion in the corresponding period of previous year. The surge in sale proceeds came mainly as a result of higher prices of benchmark Arab Light crude.
Other income of the company more than doubled to Rs3.55 billion compared to Rs1.60 billion last year.
On the flip side, exploration cost swelled to Rs1.90 billion in Jul-Mar FY19 compared to Rs1.01 billion in the corresponding period of previous year. Similarly, finance cost surged to Rs2.06 billion compared to Rs1.21 billion.
In the quarter ended March 31, 2019, the consolidated profit of POL improved 4% to Rs3.24 billion (earnings per share Rs11.40) compared to Rs3.11 billion (earnings per share Rs10.95) in the same period of last year. The slight increase in earnings came “mainly on the back of higher exploration charges”, analyst Khursheed added.
During the Jan-Mar 2019 quarter, revenues of the company swelled 22% mainly on the back of rupee devaluation against the US dollar.
“To note, Arab Light crude prices during the quarter declined 3% to $63.8 per barrel while oil and gas production of the company fell 5% each,” the analyst said. Exploration charges soared fourfold to Rs1.09 billion compared to Rs275 million last year. “We attribute this to higher geological and geophysical costs,” the analyst pointed out.”
“We flag inability to receive a higher gas price incentive on Tal block owing to the WLO (windfall levy on oil) dispute (pending in court), lower-than-anticipated international oil prices, significant exploration and development costs and unexpected field shutdown as key risks for POL,” the analyst concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2019.