The net profit of Titas Gas Transmission & Distribution Company Limited has dropped 27 percent in the first three quarters of the current financial year as the minimum charges were replaced with demand charges at consumer level.
However, the sale of gas has increased by 28 percent during this period.
An official of Titas Gas told The Business Standard that it has withdrawn the minimum charges in all consumer levels from July 1, 2019, and imposed a demand charge of Tk0.10 per cubic metre, causing a drop in the profit.
Despite the sale quantity of Titas Gas remained the same, the sales figure rose due to an increase in gas prices. The company receives distribution charges only for distributing gas.
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has increased gas prices which came into effect on July 1, 2019. It also fixed the distribution charge of Titas Gas at Tk0.25 per cubic metre which was Tk0.22 earlier.
The official of the company also said that the country's economy has slowed down owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the industries are going with minimum production, and thus the gas demand has been lower for the last three months. The company could not make profit in that pandemic period.
According to the three quarters unaudited financial statements, gas use of several sectors has increased. But in fertiliser production, the usage of gas has fallen drastically.
In the three quarters of the current financial year, Titas Gas sold gas worth Tk13,548 crore, while it was Tk10,620 crore at the same time of the previous year.
During this time, the company has earned nothing from the minimum charge, but earned Tk173 crore from the demand charge. In the previous year, it had earned Tk310 crore as minimum charge.
As a result, the net profit decreased to Tk208.81 crore from Tk 284.35 crore. The earnings per share of the company was Tk2.11 which was Tk2.87 in the previous year.
Titas Gas got enlisted with the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) in 2008 and its paid up capital is Tk989.22 crore.
The closing price of each share of the company was Tk29.70 at the DSE on Monday. The highest price of its shares was Tk40.50 each whereas the lowest price was Tk27.50 per share within the last one year.
Titas Gas has paid a 26 percent cash dividend to its shareholders in the last financial year.
Out of total shares, Petrobangla holds 75 percent shares of Titas Gas while institutional investors have 14.43 percent, foreign investors 1.81 percent and the general investors hold 8.76 percent shares.