Power utility CESC Ltd today reported a net profit of Rs 107 crore for the quarter ended December 2013, up by 5.94 per cent from the same period a year ago.
Net sales during the quarter expanded by 16.05 per cent to Rs 1,186 crore during the October-December 2013 quarter as against Rs 1,022 crore a year ago period.
"The average peak load factor during the quarter was up 1.8 per cent on year to 92.7 per cent, due to good demand during the quarter," CESC chairman Sanjiv Goenka told reporters here today.
The city-based power utility is looking to commission the second phase of 600 MW power plant at Chandrapur in Maharashtra by March. It also expects to commission the first phase of 600 MW Haldia power plant in West Bengal in October or November.
"We are going ahead of the schedule for the Haldia power plant. In the first phase we will commission 300 MW by October-November, as compared to the deadline of February-March," Goenka said.
However, the rupee depreciation would see the cost of both the power projects going up and consequently and the power utility might have to raise its tariff during 2014-15 (April-March), he added.
"The impact would be more for the Haldia project. When we started, rupee was at 45-46 levels per dollar. Now with rupee hovering at around 63 (per dollar) levels the costs are going up," he said.
"This would mean that we may need to raise the power tariff in the next financial year (2014-15)."
The 600 MW from the Haldia power project is expected to feed the Kolkata municipality region, where CESC is the sole distribution company.
Meanwhile, the company has signed a power purchase agreement with Tamil Nadu State Electricity Board for 100 MW of power which will come from the Chandrapur project, Goenka said.
"We are also in advanced talks with two other private sector discoms (distribution companies) for power purchase agreement for another 420 MW power from the Chandrapur plant," he added.
CESC was setting up a 10.6 MW solar power plant in Tamil Nadu, making it the second solar unit by the company. It already has a 9 MW solar power plant operating in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, CESC's retail arm Spencer's, monthly average sales improved to Rs 1,360 per sq ft during the quarter from Rs 1,260 a year ago and but marginally lower from Rs 1,363 rupees from Q2 period FY14.
CESC planned to open three new stores