New Delhi– Hydrocarbons major Cairn India on Thursday posted a 15-fold jump in consolidated net profit for the third quarter ending December at Rs 604 crore, as compared to the Rs 40.90 crore in the same period a year back, on the back of lower depreciation.

The company’s net revenue in the quarter in consideration at Rs 2,149 crore rose five per cent over the same quarter a year ago at Rs 2,039 crore.

Cairn’s expenses for the December quarter were lower at Rs 1,791.65 crore, from Rs 2,345.52 crore reported in the same period a year back, mainly on account of lower depletion, depreciation and amortisation expenses.

Sequentially, however, the company registered a 22.5 per cent decline in its net profit as compared to the Rs 779 crore in the quarter ended September 2016, caused by forex losses.

“Net profit after tax was 22 per cent lower quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) at Rs 604 crore due to forex loss and higher effective tax rate which was partially offset by higher Ebitda (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) and lower depreciation,” the company said.

The company reported Ebitda of Rs 1,067 crore, which was 51 per cent higher than a year ago.

During the quarter in question, Cairn produced 16.7 million barrels of oil equivalent across all its assets.

“We have made use of the challenging oil price environment to achieve competitive returns even at Brent $40 a barrel for planned projects. We are in active discussions with world class oil field services companies to partner for the end to end outsourcing of certain projects,” said acting Chief Executive Officer Sudhir Mathur.

Cairn said that its proposed merger with Vedanta Ltd. is expected to be completed in the first quarter of calendar year 2017, while the extension of its production sharing contract for the Barmer oilfield in Rajasthan was subjudice in the Delhi high court.

Cairn India stock closed on Thursday at Rs 274.80 a share, down 1.00 point, or 0.36 per cent, on its previous close on the BSE.