KARACHI: Hascol Petroleum Ltd reported a net consolidated loss of Rs25.2 billion for the year ended on Dec 31, 2020, versus a net loss of Rs35.1bn in 2019, a regulatory filing said on Monday.

Simultaneously restating its financial statements for 2019 and 2018, the company reported a net loss per share of Rs25.39 in 2020, down 72.7 per cent from a year ago.

The company discovered “inaccurate entries in its 2019 accounts” and subsequently restated its results from 2018 through 2020, said a chairman’s note that the firm released along with financial results.

Hascol Petroleum Ltd has been in financial trouble since 2018. Its revenues have dropped, losses mounted and loans risen, sending its share price down from over Rs300 three years ago to just Rs6.53 apiece on Monday. Regulatory actions against the company in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for unauthorised storage and selling of petroleum products also marred its reputation last year. The company has lately been in news for abrupt resignations by auditors as well as members of its board and senior management.

The company has taken a conservative view in the accounts about provisions while the verification of historic book entries is undertaken, the chairman’s note said. “Until a full reconciliation effort is completed, and third-party records are proved consistent, appropriate adjustments cannot be made,” it added.

Vitol, which is the company’s major shareholder, increased its equity stake from 25pc to 40pc in 2020. The company began negotiations with its banks this year to restructure and refinance its liabilities by appointing advisers to help with the restructuring effort. It has been negotiating with major banks on the restructuring in close coordination with the board, it said.

“An agreement is expected soon towards the restructuring of Hascol’s bank debt to long-term debt. This would coincide with additional equity being injected and the liquidation of Hascol’s non-core assets,” it quoted company chairman Sir Alan Duncan as saying.

With 18.6m shares changing hands, it remained the most traded stock on Monday with the share price rising 10.87pc to Rs6.53.

Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2021

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