GAIL India Ltd., the nation’s biggest natural gas distributor, posted fiscal first-quarter profit that unexpectedly increased after higher earnings from trading in the fuel.
Net income rose 15 percent to 11.3 billion rupees ($204 million) in the three months ended June 30, the New Delhi-based state-owned company said today in a statement. That beat the 8.97 billion rupee median estimate of 22 analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Net sales climbed 25 percent to 110.9 billion rupees.
GAIL’s earnings before tax from natural gas trading increased 58 percent, according to the statement. That helped to counter discounts the company gave on liquefied petroleum gas sold to state-run oil refiners, including Indian Oil Corp., to partly compensate them for selling fuels below costs.
GAIL gained 3 percent, the most since June 8, to 355.75 rupees at the close in Mumbai. The shares have declined 7.3 percent this year compared with an 11 percent gain in the benchmark Sensitive Index.
Earnings from gas trading were 4.95 billion rupees, while profit before tax from sales of LPG and liquid hydrocarbons climbed 91 percent to 4.37 billion rupees, the company said.
The discount given to refiners was 7 billion rupees compared with 6.8 billion rupees a year earlier.