<p>Hit by higher wage expenses, state-owned coal producer Coal India Ltd (CIL) posted a 4.92 per cent decline in consolidated net profit to Rs 4,013 crore for the quarter ended March 31, compared with Rs 4,221 crore a year ago. Net sales for the period, however, rose 29.42 per cent to Rs 19,419 crore over Rs 15,005 crore reported in the year-ago period.
“The wage was finalised in the first week of January. They made a provision of only Rs 1,500 crore earlier. Once the revision was finalised, we came to know how much it is. So, we made a provision of Rs 3,000 crore. But in the previous corresponding quarter there was no such provision. Hence the dip in the Q4 net profit,” Chairman S Narsing Rao said.
The employee benefits expense for the fourth quarter increased substantially to Rs 9,068 crore from Rs 4,806 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The world's largest coal producer’s consolidated net profit for 2011-12 rose to Rs 14,788 crore from Rs 10,867 crore the financial year before. The company has registered an increase of 36.08 per cent in net profit in the year, following a price increase in February last year.
Net sales in 2011-12 rose 24.26 per cent to Rs 62,415 crore against Rs 50,229 crore in the previous financial year. Production was almost stagnant as the company ended the 2011-12 with an output of 435.84 million tonnes, registering a growth of 1 per cent.
“The unprecedented rainfall during the second quarter, forestry and environmental non-clearances, law and order problems in some of the coalfields severely impeded the company's production tempo,” the company said in a statement.
Meanwhile, CIL said it was expecting a six per cent rise in revenues in the current financial year. “If prices remain at current levels, we see about six to seven per cent rise in revenues in the current year,” Rao told reporters, adding that the company is “not considering any price rise as of now”.
Replying to a query on whether the company is planning to import coal this year, he said: “We have not considered the option yet. We can think about it only if our consumers insist on importing.”