Coal India Defers Decision On Dividend

Coal India Defers Decision On Dividend

The Board of Coal India Ltd. deferred any decision on an interim dividend at its meeting held on March 7.

“The Board of directors of CIL in its meeting had deferred consideration of interim dividend for financial year 2017-18 and has decided to hold another board meeting on March 10, to consider payment of dividend if any,” the company said in a regulatory filing. The record date has now shifted to March 19.

The deferment was on account of a lack of consensus over CIL’s financial prospects, as a result of which it became difficult to arrive at any decision on dividends, sources said. The monopoly, which produces more than 80% of India’s coal, is set to face competition after the Centre recently opened up commercial mining to the private sector.

Chasing a target of 600 million tonnes for 2017-18, CIL has produced 440.6 million tonnes during April-February, or 94% of the target.

CIL’s revenue from operations remained flat at end December 2017, with the company closing the quarter with a revenue of ₹20,708.5 crore compared to ₹21,198.8 crore, a year earlier. For the nine-month period, its total income (including other income) was ₹63,017.6 crore against ₹62,689.1 crore.

Its profit for the period was marginally higher at ₹3,004.8 crore against ₹2,883.3 crore during the quarter with the nine-month period showing a lower profit at ₹5,724.9 crore against ₹6,560.9 crore a year ago.

The government holds 78.5 % of equity of CIL, which went public in November 2010. It has always been a high-dividend paying company, with interim payouts ranging between 97% in 2013-14 and 290% in 2014-15. In 2016-17, it had paid two interim dividends totalling 299%.

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