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Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), which will now be a subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has posted a 23 per cent increase in net profit for the third quarter of the financial year ended on December 31 to Rs 19.50 billion on improved gross refinery margins (GRM). This is compared to Rs 15.90 billion during the same period in 2016-17. The combined GRM for the period under review was $9.04 per barrel as against $6.38 during the October to December quarter last year on the back of improved distillate yield and better product cracks. "We had inventory gains to the tune of Rs 14.77 billion during the period on both marketing and refinery front, compared to Rs 15.67 billion last year, " said M K Surana, chairman and managing director of HPCL after the company's first quarterly results post the closure of ONGC's acquisition of government stake in HPCL. The company's gross sales during October to December quarter of 2017-18 was seen at Rs 628.32 billion, compared to Rs 554.71 billion last year. The refineries at Mumbai and Visakhapattanam processed 4.52 million tonnes (MT) of crude during the quarter, as against 4.66 MT in 2016-17.
These refineries processed highest ever throughput of 13.65 MT of crude during the first nine months of the financial year.The company board has declared an interim dividend of Rs 14.5 per share resulting in a total payout of Rs 26.59 billion including dividend distribution tax. During October to December quarter, the domestic sales of petroleum products increased to 9.23 MT registering a growth of 2.3 per cent over the corresponding quarter last year. The sales of petrol were up 5.1 per cent, diesel by 2 per cent, liquefied petroleum gas by 6.7 per cent and lubes by 11.8 per over last year. To improve the safety in LPG transportation, first company-owned LPG rake was rolled out under Liberalised Wagon Investment Scheme of railways, which carries 1,500 tonnes of LPG from Mangalore to Kohlapur. "We are going to come up with two more such wagons soon," said S Jeyakrishnan, director-marketing of HPCL. On the other hand, Surana said that the change in the structure of the board and the mode of integration with Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals is not yet finalised.