BPCL's net loss of Rs 88.4 billion follows losses from other state-run oil marketing companies Indian Oil Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp, and may put pressure on the cash-strapped government to raise fuel prices.
The three companies have together racked up losses of Rs 405.4 billion during their fiscal first quarters, four times the loss from a year earlier.
On Thursday, HPCL posted a net loss of Rs 92.5 billion , while IOC reported a quarterly loss of Rs 224.5 billion, which media reports said was a record in Indian corporate history.
The three companies posted a total net profit of Rs 52.9 billion in the fiscal year ended March 2012.
State oil companies can fix retail prices for petrol, but the government continues to control prices of diesel, cooking gas and kerosene. The government last allowed a diesel price increase in June 2011.
The government, which bears a third of the shortfall between costs and selling prices, typically pays the subsidy in the second half of the year, leading to weak first-quarter results. State oil and gas producers bear part of the losses in the form of cash discounts to refiners.
The results were also affected by a falling rupee. The Indian currency fell about 8.5 per cent against the dollar during the April to June period. India imports 80 per cent of its crude oil requirements, mostly through its state oil companies.
BPCL said its net loss rose to 88.37 billion rupees in the June quarter, from 25.62 billion a year earlier. Net sales rose 18 per cent to Rs 545.23 billion.
The company incurred a foreign exchange fluctuation loss of Rs 16.11 billion, while finance costs shot up more than 50 per cent to 5.2 billion on account of higher debt.
The company incurred net under-recoveries of Rs 79.6 billion on account of selling petroleum products below cost.
Ahead of the results, shares in BPCL, valued by the market at $4.5 billion, closed 3.6 per cent higher in a flat Mumbai market.
Copyright @Thomson Reuters 2012