Fuel Fortunes

Feb 17, 2010 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka unit of Indian Oil Corporation said it made a ˜nominal’ profit in the December quarter compared with a loss a year ago on higher petrol prices and other products like marine fuel and lubricants. Government-mandated retail petrol prices were cut by 15 rupees a litre on December 29.

Suresh Kumar said he expects the next quarter to be better with the government having removed a customs duty charged on LIOC along with the cut in petrol prices.

The reduction in selling price has been matched by the duty being taken off. From this quarter onwards things will be better as there is a general improvement in the economic climate which should help volumes to grow.

The island’s 30-year ethnic war ended last May, resulting in a revival in economic activity.

LIOC made a loss of 203 million rupees in the September 2009 quarter, after making a 110 million profit a year ago.

It made a 856.7 million rupee loss in the June quarter compared with a profit of 1.0 billion rupees a year earlier, as it was squeezed between high taxes and government mandated prices.

Suresh Kumar said sales of ship fuel in Colombo port were doing reasonably alright with total market volumes h