State-run GAIL India reported a 10 per cent increase in net profit, at Rs 1,122 crore, for the fourth and final quarter of 2018-19 over the same period in 2017-18. The rise was due to higher margins on gas sale and transmission. Total income for the January-March period rose 25 per cent to Rs 19,630 crore.
The board of directors has approved one fully paid-up bonus share for every one equity share already held. During the quarter, the company's physical performance grew in all segments from a year before. The volume of natural gas marketed rose 10 per cent, transmission volume was up three per cent and of petrochemicals by 12 per cent.
B C Tripathi, chairman and managing director, said all segments and the better realisation contributed to its annual numbers. For the entire financial yearthe net profit rose 30 per cent to Rs 6,026 crore, compared to Rs 4,618 crore in 2017-18. Turnover was up by 39 per cent, to Rs 74,808 crore. During the year, GAIL saw a 14 per cent increase in natural gas marketing and of two per cent in transmission volume. The segments of petrochemicals, liquid hydrocarbons and LPG transmission rose by nine, four and seven per cent, respectively.
GAIL says it plans to invest Rs 54,000 crore across segments in the next five years. This includes setting up of infrastructure in pipelines and city gas distribution (CGD). In 2018-19, capital expenditure was Rs 8,300 crore, a record high, against the earlier plan for Rs 6,400 crore. “Our plan is to invest at least Rs 7,000 crore during the current fiscal,” said A K Tiwari, director (finance).
The company has ongoing pipeline projects for 5,500 km, adding to investment of Rs 32,000 crore in the next couple of years. GAIL Gas, a fully-owned subsidiary, and its joint ventures together got 23 geographical areas during the ninth and tenth round of CGD bidding. The CGD portfolio might require an investment of Rs 12,000 crore in the coming years. During 2018-19, the industry added 800,000 domestic consumers, of which a little over 600,000 was added by GAIL and its firms.
Tripathi said major clients added during 2018-19 included a fertiliser plant at Chambal. In 2019-20, it might add Matix Fertilisers in West Bengal and Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals in Telangana.