Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) declared a record Rs 12,581 crore dividend on Wednesday, with more than half going to the government ahead of the company’s privatisation.
BPCL’s “Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of Rs 58 per equity share (including a one-time special payment of Rs 35 per equity share of Rs 10 each) for the financial year ending March 31, 2021, subject to shareholder approval,” according to a regulatory filing.
The total dividend is Rs 12,581.66 crore, including a Rs 7592.38 crore special dividend.
The government will receive Rs 6,665.76 crore plus dividend distribution tax for its whole 52.98 percent stake in BPCL.
The dividend is in addition to the Rs 21 per share interim dividend given earlier in the fiscal year.
The company gave no rationale for the record dividend, though it did receive Rs 9,876 crore in March from the sale of its 61.5 percent ownership in the Numaligarh refinery in Assam to a consortium comprising Oil India Ltd, Engineers India Ltd, and the Government of Assam.
Almost simultaneously, the company paid Rs 2,399.26 crore for 36.62 percent of OQ S.A.O.C (previously known as Oman Oil Company S.A.O.Cequity’s) in the Bina refinery.
BPCL made a net gain of Rs 7,477 crore as a result of the two transactions, which is nearly the same as the special dividend issued on Wednesday.
On the strength of the share sale and improved refining margins arising from inventory gains accruing from recovering oil prices, BPCL announced a record standalone net profit of Rs 19,041.67 crore for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 (FY 2020-21).
The profit was higher than the net profit of Rs 2,683.19 crore in 2019-20, according to the filing.
The company’s net profit increased to Rs 11,940.13 crore in the January-March quarter, up from Rs 2,777.62 crore the previous quarter.
In FY21, the company earned USD 4.06 per barrel of crude oil converted into fuel, compared to a gross refining profit of USD 2.50 per barrel a year ago.
In addition, the company made a foreign exchange profit of Rs 199.75 crore, compared to a loss of Rs 1,662.34 crore in FY20.
“The Corporation’s market sales for the year ended March 31, 2021 were 38.74 million tonnes, compared to 43.10 million tonnes for the year ended March 31, 2020.
“The decrease is mostly in diesel (-10.66 percent), petrol (-7.83 percent), and ATF (-60.32 percent), with a rise in LPG (6.24 percent) partially offsetting the decrease,” the company said.
“We observed a V-shaped recovery in the second half of the financial year, resulting in substantial rise in fuel sales,” BPCL Director (Finance) N Vijayagopal said of the fourth quarter earnings.
Diesel sales increased by 5.98%, while petrol sales increased by 9.89%, according to BPCL.