An employee walks past a diesel gas pump at an Indian Oil Corp. gas station in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg)

Indian Oil's Quarterly Profit Jumps as Refining Margin Doubles

(Bloomberg) -- State-owned Indian Oil Corp. posted a 50 percent jump in quarterly profit as the margin for converting crude into fuels more than doubled.

Net income climbed to 68.3 billion rupees ($992 million) in the quarter ended June 30, from 45.5 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said in a stock-exchange filing Saturday. That compares with the 53.3 billion-rupee average of 20 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 16 percent to 1.5 trillion rupees.

India’s largest refiner has taken advantage of rising domestic oil consumption, which expanded for a 10th straight month in June, as vehicle sales surged and economic activity picked up. The Mumbai-based company is locking in future supplies and said this month it signed a term tender to purchase American oil for delivery every month between November and January as U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to squeeze Iran exports.

Indian Oil earned $10.21 for every barrel of crude it turned into fuel in the quarter compared with $4.32 a year earlier. A weaker rupee also helped since the refiner’s products are priced mostly in dollars but it reports earnings in rupees. The rupee averaged about 67.06 for a dollar in the quarter ended June, four percent lower than a year ago.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, averaged about $75 a barrel in the quarter ended June, up from about $51 a barrel a year earlier.

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