Essar Energy gets boost from Stanlow as earnings increase

 
City A.M. Reporter
POWER plant operator and oil refiner Essar Energy yesterday reported an 18 per cent rise in core earnings for the first-half as the benefit of a contribution from its Stanlow refinery in Cheshire offset its struggling Indian power business.

The company, which is 77 per cent-owned by privately held Indian conglomerate Essar Group, said operational earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) was $383m (£239.1m) for the six months ended 30 September.

The company, which recently changed its accounting period, reported operational Ebitda of $324m in the six months to 30 June 2011.

Essar said Stanlow, the second largest UK refinery which Essar acquired from Royal Dutch Shell for around $1.3bn in March last year, had made good progress, with operational Ebitda of $132m in the first half.

The company’s power business, meanwhile, continues to be hit by regulatory and coal supply issues in India, where it is struggling to obtain the permits it requires to mine the coal needed to fuel its stations.

Essar’s London-listed shares rose almost five per cent in trading yesterday, closing up 4.87 per cent at 128.65p.