Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Energy on Tuesday reported a nearly two-fold increase in net profit for the quarter ended December 31 at Rs 505.5 million mainly on the back of improved revenues, decline in finance cost and lower effective tax rate. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 179.6 million in the corresponding quarter last fiscal. Its total revenues for the October-December period grew 6.46 per cent to Rs 20.81 billion from Rs 19.54 billion in Q3 FY17. "This has been a very good quarter. As compared to the last two quarters, the demand for energy increased by 6.6 per cent, which is after a long time. Also, we managed to reduce the interest cost significantly, which has aided the significant jump in the PAT," company's joint managing director and CEO Prashant Jain told reporters here. The merchant sales during the quarter were 1,555 million units, up from the level of 699 million units in Q3 FY17, due to the buoyant short-term market. During the quarter, the company reduced the net debt by Rs 830 million, while for the nine months between April-December 2017 reduced by Rs 24.90 billion. JSW Energy's consolidated net debt as on December 31, stood at Rs 118.96 billion resulting in a low net debt to equity ratio of 1.04 times, which is a substantial decline from 1.29 times at the end of Q4 FY17. The finance cost during the quarter declined to Rs 3.41 billion from Rs 4.23 billion in the corresponding quarter of FY17 mainly due to interest rate reductions as well as prepayment, repayment and refinancing of borrowings. The fuel cost for the quarter, however, increased by 18 per cent to Rs 11.71 billion primarily due to increase in the international coal prices. During the quarter, the company also terminated the proposed acquisition of 500 MW Bina project in Madhya Pradesh from Jaiprakash Power Ventures, with the elapsing of the long stop date of deal completion to December 31. JSW Energy's projects achieved deemed PLF of 58 per cent as against 56 per cent in Q3. The company also entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Haryana distribution company for its 176 MW thermal project during the quarter, taking its PPAs tie-up proportion to 69.3 per cent. "We signed PPAs for 208 MW capacity out of which 176 MW was with the Haryana discom while the rest 32 MW was for captive use.
We will soon sign a PPA with the Punjab discom for additional 200 MW, which will take our total proportion of long-term tie-up to nearly 74 per cent," Jain said. In its solar business, the company is developing 17 MW of projects, with 4 MW of floating type, 3 MW rooftop and 10 MW of ground mounted. "The entire capacity is secured by long-term PPAs and is expected to be ready, in phases, by end of September this year," he added. Speaking about the company's new electric vehicles business, Jain said, "we continue to make steady progress towards putting together the building blocks in respect of product and technology strategies, business partnerships and organisation structure for this. The positive developments in the market environment and strong government push provide encouraging tailwinds to our efforts." When asked about the company's plans to acquire assets, Jain said, "we are always on the look out for consolidation. We have not finalised any deal, but we continue to look for opportunities.