KARACHI: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited’s (SNGPL) profit dropped 15% to Rs2.12 billion in the quarter ended March 31, 2018 primarily due to a significant rise in the cost of gas sales and surge in finance cost, according to a notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday.
The public gas utility had registered a profit of Rs2.50 billion in the same quarter of previous year. Earnings per share fell to Rs3.34 in the Jan-Mar 2018 quarter compared to Rs3.94 in the corresponding quarter of previous year.
SNGPL’s stock price rose 0.88% or Rs0.99 to close at Rs113.74 with trading in 3.13 million shares at the PSX.Sales of the company – including the Rs18.02-billion differential margin – soared 85% to Rs133.28 billion in the Jan-Mar 2018 quarter from Rs71.87 billion – excluding the Rs4.82-billion Gas Development Surcharge – in the same quarter of previous year.
Robust sales, however, failed to push up the profit due to higher cost of sales. Cost of gas sales rose 1.29 percentage points to 96.94% (or Rs129.21 billion) of total sales compared to 95.68% (or Rs68.77 billion).
Finance cost surged 84% to Rs2.32 billion from Rs1.26 billion.
Cumulatively, for nine months (Jul-Mar 2017-18), SNGPL’s profit slipped 2% to Rs5.98 billion with earnings per share of Rs9.43 compared to Rs6.10 billion with earnings per share of Rs9.63 in the corresponding period of previous year.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2018.