NTPC Second-Quarter Profit Drops on Sales Charge, Staff Costs

  • July-Sept wage bill increases 18% y/y to 10 billion rupees
  • Electricity sales rise 7.1 percent y/y to 60.5 billion kwh

India’s biggest power producer reported a 1 percent decline in second-quarter profit after NTPC Ltd. took a charge on disputed sales and employee costs rose, offsetting gains from higher electricity sales.

Profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 dropped to 24.4 billion rupees ($372 million) from 25 billion rupees a year ago, the company said in an exchange filing on Monday. The average of 11 estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for 24.8 billion rupees. Sales rose 1.6 percent to about 197 billion rupees, after NTPC reversed sales worth 4.2 billion rupees pending the settlement of a dispute with a customer.

Employee expenses rose 18 percent from a year earlier to 10 billion rupees, stripping off benefits from higher capacity and a 7 percent increase in electricity sales. The company sold more electricity to make up for supply shortages from other sources, including hydro-power, wind and nuclear.

The company’s electricity sales during the period rose 7.1 percent to 60.5 billion kilowatt hours, NTPC said in a separate filing. Utilization at its coal-fired plants rose to 76.6 percent from 74.7 percent a year ago.

NTPC shares rose 0.2 percent to 176.95 rupees as of 3:10 p.m. in Mumbai, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.8 percent. Shares have gained 7.3 percent this year, compared with 24 percent increase in the benchmark index.

It added 3.8 gigawatts of capacity during the year ended Sept. 30, according to the filing.

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