Vedanta Q4 consolidated net profit at Rs 2,988 crore

Metal and mining conglomerate Vedanta Ltd on Monday reported a consolidated net profit of Rs2,988 crore for the quarter ended 31 March 2017, boosted by higher sales and revenue.

Vedanta had reported a net loss of Rs21,104 crore during the corresponding quarter of 2015-16, the company stated in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Last year's Q4 loss, however, was mainly due to a non-cash impairment charge of Rs12,304 crore, largely related to Cairn India. Vedanta has now completed the buyout of Cairn India Ltd.

Vedanta said its consolidated revenue surged 35.43 per cent to Rs24,612.15 crore during the quarter, against Rs18,172.61 crore for corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The company's total expenses surged to Rs19,448.47 crore in the quarter ended 31 March 2017 against Rs16,992.70 crore in the corresponding period a year-ago.

The company said its financial position remained strong with cash and liquid investments of Rs63,471 crore.

The company had gross debt of Rs71,569 crore, including short-term debt of Rs7,908 crore of Zinc India Ltd, as of 31 March 2017.

"Excluding Zinc, India temporary borrowing, gross debt decreased by Rs4,115 crore to Rs63,661 crore. Net debt reduced by Rs3,415 crore during the quarter to Rs 8,099 crore on account of positive free cash flow during the quarter," it said in the filing.

Navin Agarwal, chairman, Vedanta Ltd, said, "The completion of the Cairn India merger transforms Vedanta Ltd into a diversified natural resources powerhouse, anchored in India."

He further said, "The combined entity truly reflects our strong, diversified, low-cost portfolio with industry-leading volume growth from our well-invested assets."

Vedanta was one of the largest contributors to the exchequer in 2016-17, at Rs 40,000 crore, Agarwal said. He added, "The record dividends during the past financial year highlight our commitment to shareholder value. We are looking forward to a very exciting 2017-18 and future years, with all our businesses operating at full capacities and cost efficiencies."

Former Rio Tinto CEO, Tom Albanese, who is currently Vedanta CEO, said the company's strategic focus to ramp up production across the portfolio, namely zinc, aluminium, power and iron ore businesses, has supplemented revenue growth. "In particular, record production levels at zinc and aluminium were well-timed in an environment of strong supply side pressures on both commodities. Our cost management initiatives have helped us deliver strong returns for all our shareholders," he added.

The company said EBITDA in Q4 was up 109 per cent y-o-y on account of increased volumes at Iron Ore & Zinc India; ramp up of volumes & cost efficiencies at the Aluminium and Power business, improved commodity prices and decline in discount to Brent in the Oil & Gas business. This was partly offset by lower volume at Zinc International on account of Lisheen Mine closure in FY 2016 and natural decline at the Ravva and Cambay oil fields, it added.

Depreciation and amortisation for Q4 at Rs1,604 crore, was marginally higher by Rs23 crore compared to Q3 mainly on account of higher amortisation of mining expenses, the company said, adding that on y-o-y basis, it was lower by Rs478 crore.

Vedanta reported record annual production of aluminium, power, zinc and silver (Zinc India) and copper (Copper-India) besides successful ramp up from Mangala oil field with production level of 56,000 boepd in Q4.

The company achieved record iron ore production of 2.6 million tonnes of the additional production capacity granted in Goa. Also, it said, Zinc International's Gamsberg project  was on track to commence production in mid CY 2018.