Reliance Industries jumps estimates with 18.5% net profit rise

Mumbai: Beating expectations by a wide margin, Reliance Industries on Friday said its standalone net profit for the first quarter of this financial year was up 18.5 per cent over the like period of last financial year, topping Rs 7,548 crore. Even sequentially, where most brokerages had predicted a decline in net profit -- ranging between 5 per cent and 15.5 per cent comparing first quarter of this financial year with the last quarter of the previous one -- the refining-to-retail major reported a 4.44 per cent rise. Then in terms of another key parameter, the gross refining margin -- the difference between the crude oil price and the value of petroleum products coming out of a refinery -- the achievement at $11.5 per barrel was also well above the forecast of $9 to $10.3 per barrel. However, the company's revenue, or turnover, decreased 16.7 percent to Rs 59,493 crore, while exports were down 9.4 per cent at Rs 33,282 crore. On a consolidated basis, too, which includes the numbers of group companies, the quarter-on-quarter net profit increased by 18.1 per cent. "At Reliance, we continued to harness the power of our integrated energy and materials business portfolio. We maintained our earnings growth trajectory in this quarter as the world grappled with new dimensions of economic uncertainty," Chairman Mukesh Ambani said. "Though regional refining margins trended downward, our high-conversion refining system was able to take advantage of higher margins on middle distillates and wider discounts on sour oils. Our refining business delivered another record performance and achieved industry leading GRM." He, however, gave no indication about the launch date for Jio 4G LTE services. "At Reliance Jio, we have built an entire ecosystem that will allow Indians to live the digital life to the fullest. This transformational ecosystem consists of broadband connectivity, devices and powerful applications and services which will be available to every consumer in India.” The results were announced after the close of trading hours on Indian bourses. But the company's scrip ended at Rs 1,012.55 with a gain of Rs 6.10 or 0.61 per cent. In the past three weeks the stock has risen 6.5 per cent. Assigning the reasons for the 13.4 per cent decline in consolidated turnover to Rs 71,451 crore in the period under review, the company said it was led by the 26 per cent year-on-year fall in benchmark Brent oil prices. But this was partially offset to reflect a higher net profit. "We had an absolutely brilliant quarter," said Chief Financial Officer Alok Agarwal in a live presentation on Youtube, Twitter and Periscope. "We had records across all earnings parameters" he said, adding margins in refining and petrochemicals were impressive given the global trends. IANS