Coal India's reports 70% surge in Q3 profit on higher demand

BENGALURU (Reuters) - State-run Coal India reported a 70.1% surge in third-quarter profit on Tuesday, beating estimates, as production at the world’s largest coal miner increased due to higher power demand amid extreme weather conditions.

FILE PHOTO: A worker speaks with the driver after unloading coal from a supply truck at a yard on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad April 15, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo

Consolidated net profit rose to 77.56 billion Indian rupees ($948.35 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31 from 45.58 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said in an exchange filing.

Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 70.47 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

India, the world’s second-largest coal consumer and importer, reeled under extreme temperatures - from heatwaves in April to severe cold in northern states towards end of December - putting additional strain on power supplies.

The government has asked utilities to not retire coal-fired power plants till 2030, and is planning to use an emergency law in February to force plants that run on imported coal to maximise output in preparation for a likely record consumption this summer.

The Kolkata-headquartered company’s revenue from operations grew 23.7% to 351.69 billion rupees as its coal production for the quarter jumped 9.9% to 180.064 million tonnes.

Output for the April-December period climbed 15.8% to 479.045 million tonnes.

The Indian coal ministry expects Coal India to surpass its production target of 700 mln tonnes fixed for the current fiscal.

The company declared an interim dividend of 5.25 rupees per share. Its shares closed down 0.44% at 224.85 rupees, but rose 54.1% in 2022 compared with a 4.33% rise in Nifty 50 index.

($1 = 81.7840 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman