Chongqing Gas’s net profit increased by nearly 25% in 2023, and the company has refunded over 2.85 million yuan in overcharged gas fees

On the tenth day after the joint investigation team in Chongqing publicly announced the investigation results, Chongqing Gas Group Co., Ltd. (referred to as “Chongqing Gas”, 600917. SH) returned to the public eye with a notice titled “Announcement on the Rectification of the Investigation Results of the Joint Investigation Team on Issues Reflected by the Public in the Gas Industry of Chongqing”. The company also disclosed its 2023 annual report on the same day.

In response to the public’s top concern about overcharging and overcharging of gas costs, Chongqing Gas has identified 1182 cases, affecting a gas volume of approximately 1.219 million cubic meters and involving an amount exceeding 2.8585 million yuan. All cases have been cleared and disposed of.

As of 12:00 on April 26th, Chongqing Gas has received a total of 22696 complaints from customers regarding gas metering fees. Among them, 10267 were resolved through communication and clarification, and more than half (12429) still require on-site verification. Among them, over 90% (11444 items) of on-site inspections have been completed, and 8420 items have been verified with customers for accurate readings. It has been verified that there are 666 issues with overcharging and overcharging of gas fees. At the same time, the company comprehensively carried out data comparison, self inspection and self correction work, and self inspection revealed 516 instances of overcharged gas fees. Based on this set of data, it can be seen that nearly 6% of the customer gas billing complaints that the company has completed on-site inspections have the problem of overcharging and overcharging.

In addition to refunding overcharged gas fees, Chongqing Gas has also improved the transparency and convenience of gas metering fees, and strengthened internal business service management. In response to behaviors that cause damage to customer interests due to inadequate system implementation and weak work responsibility, measures such as increasing accountability and accountability have been taken to enhance rectification efforts.

Chongqing Gas stated that in response to the current unclear and opaque gas bill issues of customers, the gas bill template has been adjusted to include information such as gas usage address, meter reading start and end dates, gas usage days, tiered gas volume and remaining usage, account funds, etc., and regular updates on gas usage, prices, expenses, etc. have been provided to customers; For the problem of chaotic gas billing cycles, we are standardizing the gas meter reading and billing cycle based on the regional characteristics and customer habits of Chongqing, and strengthening linkage with local streets and communities to effectively improve the household meter reading rate. In addition, the company is strengthening the promotion of enterprise WeChat official account and customer exclusive enterprise WeChat applications, providing customers with self reporting gas meter readings, querying historical gas consumption data, payment records and other services.

“The company will comprehensively rectify the problem of overcharging and overcharging, and any overcharging or overcharging will be refunded as much as possible.” Regarding the next step of rectification plan, Chongqing Gas stated that it will also reengineer the processes related to meter reading, measurement, billing and charging, and implement the government’s “monthly reading, monthly clearing, and monthly promotion” work requirements in stages, so that customers can timely and clearly understand the gas consumption situation; At the same time, timely upgrade the metering and charging system to achieve automatic comparison and analysis of gas volume and gas fees, automatic warning and verification of abnormal gas volume and gas fees, and timely correction of errors.

It is worth noting that Chongqing Gas also disclosed its 2023 annual report on the same day, and the company’s annual operating revenue increased by 16.8% year-on-year, reaching 10.205 billion yuan; The net profit attributable to the parent company increased by 24.75% year-on-year, reaching 499 million yuan. Among them, the company’s net profit contributed the most in the fourth quarter of last year, accounting for about 45% of the total net profit, reaching 244 million yuan, a month on month increase of 109% and a year-on-year increase of 847%.

The return of sales profit for non residential users during the heating season is an important factor in the company’s net profit growth in the fourth quarter and even the whole year. Chongqing Gas stated that in November and December 2022, due to the epidemic, non residential users postponed the implementation of heating season sales prices by two months. In November and December 2023, non residential users resumed the implementation of heating season sales prices, resulting in a year-on-year increase of 9.909 million yuan in profits for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Investment returns were the second largest factor contributing to the company’s profits in the fourth quarter of last year. Due to the sale of non core tap water assets, the company’s profit in the fourth quarter of last year increased by 73.4 million yuan year-on-year. In addition, Chongqing Gas stated that financial accounting factors such as extending the depreciation period of the pipeline network and reducing the provision of asset impairment losses also contributed an increase of 27.56 million yuan to the company’s fourth quarter profit.

From the main business revenue situation, it can be seen that the natural gas sales business in Chongqing, which accounts for over 80% of the gas revenue, increased its gross profit margin by 0.37 percentage points last year compared to 2022, reaching 1.18%, and its operating revenue increased by 15% compared to the previous year.

In 2023, Chongqing’s gas procurement volume was 3.468 billion cubic meters, sales volume was 3.397 billion cubic meters, and there were 161800 new customers of various types. The cumulative number of managed households exceeded 5.85 million, slightly lower than the sales target of 3.451 billion cubic meters set in the 2022 business plan. The company has also added 4 upstream gas source points and completed the renovation of nearly 450 kilometers of buried pipelines and various gas facilities, with 1.64 million locations, benefiting more than 800000 households. Currently, the gas supply area of Chongqing covers 26 administrative districts and counties in Chongqing (a total of 38 administrative districts and counties in the city), Liangjiang New Area, High tech Zone, and 1 district and county outside the city (Baojing County, Hunan Province).

In the 2024 business plan, the company emphasized that it will strictly comply with the requirements of the joint investigation team, administrative authorities, and superior units, sincerely accept supervision from all walks of life, thoroughly investigate and improve, strengthen internal control management, and improve customer service quality.

According to the annual report, the Chongqing Gas Department was established in 1995 with the approval of the Chongqing Municipal Economic Commission and seven other enterprises and institutions, including the former Chongqing Natural Gas Corporation and six natural gas offices in Shizhong District, Jiangbei District, Nan’an District, Shapingba District, Jiulongpo District, and Beibei District. In February 2023, Chongqing Energy Investment Group Co., Ltd. (referred to as “Chongqing Energy”) offset its 41.07% stake in Chongqing Gas to multiple corresponding creditors in accordance with the restructuring plan. After debt repayment, the controlling shareholder of Chongqing Gas changed from Chongqing Energy to China Resources Gas Holdings Co., Ltd.