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Sesa Profit Beats Estimate on Higher Oil Output, Mining Restart

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April 29 (Bloomberg) -- Sesa Sterlite Ltd., the India-based metals and oil producer, posted a fourth-quarter profit, beating estimates, as crude oil output from unit Cairn India Ltd. rose and the company restarted iron ore mining.

Net income was 16.2 billion rupees ($268 million) in the three months ended March 31, the Panaji, Goa-based unit of Vedanta Resources Plc said today in a statement. The average of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 15.9 billion rupees. Sales were 207.8 billion rupees.

The numbers aren’t comparable with the year-earlier period as the merger of copper producer Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd. and iron-ore miner Sesa Goa Ltd., both owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal, to form Sesa Sterlite took effect in August.

Sesa benefited from the restart of iron ore mining in the southern state of Karnataka in December following a two-year halt because of violation of environmental norms. Sesa Sterlite expects to produce as much as 1.5 million metric tons of the steelmaking ingredient in the year ended March 31, Prasun Kumar Mukherjee, former executive director said on Dec. 30.

Output of lead at Sesa unit Hindustan Zinc Ltd. surged 9 percent in the quarter, while average production from Cairn India’s Rajasthan block rose 13 percent to 190,881 barrels of oil equivalent a day from a year earlier.

Sesa Sterlite fell 0.9 percent to 191.40 rupees as of 2:58 p.m. in Mumbai trading. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex declined 0.6 percent.

Total expenses at Sesa Sterlite were 161.5 billion rupees. The company also incurred a finance cost of 15.4 billion rupees in the quarter, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abhishek Shanker in Mumbai at ashanker1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net Abhay Singh, Rebecca Keenan

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