| Ambani: Power play
Mumbai, Oct. 15: BSES’ second-quarter net profit soared 134 per cent to Rs 88.83 crore from Rs 37.97 crore in the same period of the last financial year even as sales slid 4.17 per cent to Rs 619.98 from Rs 646.96 crore.
BSES, renamed Reliance Energy, declared a quarterly dividend of Rs 1 per share, keeping up its practice of being the first listed firm in India to do so in a quarter.
Chairman and managing director Anil Ambani attributed the profit spike to “a high degree of financial conservatism”. He was referring to the provision of Rs 87 crore in the first half towards future contingencies.
The company has applied for licences to supply power in Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Pune and New Bombay. It is also in talks with many states for distribution.
The company more than made up for the decline in net sales with an over two-fold rise in revenues from EPC deals — from Rs 73.68 crore to Rs 142.65 crore last quarter. Many of these contracts came from its captive business.
“We will be on a stronger wicket in the quarters ahead. Financially, the company is in a robust position,” Ambani said.
The main task before BSES is to double its customer base. “Owning the customers is the key to profitability. Our vision is on the integration of the well head to the wall socket.” The well-head would be the recent gas finds in the Krishna Godavari basin by parent Reliance, while BSES will provide the access to customers.
BSES said it will enter new areas of power distribution and evaluate plans for gas-based power. Ambani said of the 1.8 million meters for billing the flow of electricity to customers, almost one million meters are either not working or have been tampered — a magnitude of the leak in the supply of power to users.
Meanwhile, the merger of Reliance Salgaoncar Power Company and BSES Andhra Power with BSES was approved today. BSES Andhra Power runs a 220 MW gas-based plant in Andhra Pradesh and feeds AP Transco.
Ambani said the spat with Tata Power has forced BSES to explore other power supply options. BSES generates 500 MW in-house and sources almost 600 MW from Tata Power to cater to Mumbai. That will change if BSES can tap open access facilities and power trading to reduce its dependence on the Tata firm. The company’s recent tender to buy energy saw several producers with unutilised power filing a response.