Essar Energy’s shares plummet as weaker rupee hits earnings

 
Suzie Neuwirth
INDIA-FOCUSED oil and gas company Essar Energy’s share price fell over 13 per cent yesterday, after its half-year results showed a seven per cent decline in earnings to $543.7m (£336.8m).

The FTSE 250-listed firm posted a pre-tax loss of $498.8m, compared to a loss of $282m the previous year. Essar Energy attributed the decline to the depreciating value of the rupee, as well as volatility in the crude oil price.

Earnings at the Stanlow refinery in the UK fell to $65.2m, compared to $197.2m a year earlier, which the firm attributed to a “very tough” global refining market.

Essar Energy has reduced its full-year production guidance at the plant to 59m barrels of oil rather than 67m barrels, due to damage to a furnace.

Essar Energy also said that it would dispose of some non-core assets to improve margins, cash flow and profitability.

The firm’s net debt fell 2.6 per cent to $6.56bn, helped by the Indian currency’s depreciation against the dollar.

Shares closed at 87.35p.