Pakistan Petroleum Limited’s (PPL) consolidated profit increased almost 7% to Rs26.10 billion in the half year period ended December 31, 2020 mainly due to drastic cut in cost of the oil and gas exploration activities, according to a bourse filing on Friday.

The profit stood at Rs24.44 billion in the same period of the last year. Accordingly, the earnings per share improved to Rs9.59 in the under review period compared to Rs8.98 in the corresponding period of the last year.

The board of directors approved an interim cash dividend for the year ending June 30, 2021 of Rs1.50 per share on ordinary shares and Rs1.50 per share on convertible preference shares.

The dividend will be distributed to those members whose names appear in the register of members of the company at the close of business on April 12, 2021.

The oil and gas exploration cost dropped over four-folds to Rs3.26 billion compared to Rs14.26 billion.

On a cumulative basis, net sales declined 12%, settling at Rs75.54 billion during the half year under review due to drop in Sui wellhead price by 8%, 1% drop in gas production and 32% fall in oil prices.

“Meanwhile, oil production remained stable in 1HFY21 (the half year under review),” according to a local research house.