Essar drops into the red

India-focused Essar Energy almost doubled revenues in the first half, but saw this wiped by costs, as well as regulation and coal supply problems in India.

India-focused Essar Energy almost doubled revenues in the first half, but saw this wiped by costs, as well as regulation and coal supply problems in India.

Group revenue was up 97% to $12.8bn, driven by the acquisition of the UK Stanlow refinery as well as higher refining revenues in India.

The company, which recently changed it accounting period, reported EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) of $382.9m in the period to the end of September.

However, pre-tax losses plunged to $282.8m, compared to a profit of $278.5m the year before.

Basic earnings per share show a loss of 13.8c, compared to positive earnings per share of 13.5c in the six months to the end of June 30th 2011.

The firm blamed numerous costs, including higher interest payments, depreciation due to commissioning and optimisation costs at its refineries, and increased foreign exchange losses.

It also called for reform in the India energy market, saying regulatory and coal supply issues continued to impact the power industry in the country.

"We believe changes are necessary if the government is to deliver on its objectives for the wider Indian energy sector," it said.

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