Russia-backed Indian refiner Nayara Energy's quarterly profit halves

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Nayara Energy, part owned by Russian oil major Rosneft, reported a nearly 50% fall in its September quarter profit from the previous three months, hit by an export tax on refined fuels and weak margins.

Nayara posted a net profit of 17.9 billion rupees ($222.4 million) in the July-September period versus a record 35.6 billion rupees in the June quarter, it said in a stock exchange filing on Friday. It had posted a loss of 908 million rupees in the September quarter of 2021.

India curbed fuel exports by slapping a windfall tax on overseas sales of refined fuels from July, dragging down profits of private refiners Reliance Industries Ltd and Nayara.

The pair emerged as key Indian buyers of Russian oil after some western countries and companies shunned purchases from Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine in late February.

High freight costs had previously mostly discouraged Indian refiners from buying Russian oil.

Rosneft and Kesani Enterprises Co Ltd, a consortium led by Trafigura Group and Russia's UCP Investment Group, each hold a 49.13% stake in Nayara, which operates the 400,000 barrel per day Vadinar refinery in India's western state of Gujarat.

($1 = 80.4770 Indian rupees)

(This story has been corrected to fix numbers in paragraph 2 to 17.9 billion rupees from 179.34 bln and to 35.6 bln rupees from 356.37 bln)

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)