At 21%, Reliance Industries' petro-retail growth outpaces the industry

Reliance Industries operated 516 owned fuel retail outlets as of March 2019 and recommissioned 21 outlets in the last financial year
Reliance Industries’ (RIL’s) growth rate in petrol and diesel retail volumes was higher than that of the industry during the March quarter.

This growth, however, has not been able to match RIL’s consumer retail momentum.

For the January-March 2019 quarter, RIL said its petrol retail volumes grew by 21 per cent. This is higher than the industry growth rate for the same period which was at 9 per cent, according to RIL’s investor presentation for the March quarter. The company saw a similar growth for its diesel sales. Volume growth for diesel in retail was at 16 per cent, higher from the industry growth rate of 3 per cent in the March 2019 ended quarter. For 2018-19, diesel grew 16 per cent and petrol 21 per cent for RIL against the industry average of a 3 per cent pick up in diesel sales and 9 per cent for petrol.

“Higher retail/bulk sales (for both diesel and petrol) are on the back of strong domestic demand,” the company said in its presentation.

“RIL achieved its highest ever domestic sales in high speed diesel (HSD) and motor spirit (petrol) through its well-entrenched pan-India retail network and direct sales. The average throughput per outlet for Reliance is more than double that of the industry average,” the company said in a press statement on Thursday.

While RIL has managed to outdo the industry average growth in the fuel industry, it lags compared to its own non-fuel retail business. 

The revenue pie for the company’s retail business shows petro-retail’s contribution has fallen to 10.2 per cent in the last financial year, compared to 14.6 per cent share it held in financial year 2017-18. Revenue from consumer electronics at the same time contributed 30 per cent to the total retail revenue in FY18-19, against 21.9 per cent in FY17-18. For the full year, the retail business reported revenue of Rs 1.30 trillion. 

In addition to its growing retail sales, the company also saw higher volumes in the bulk HSD segment. The presentation stated the company’s market share was now up to 8.5 per cent in this segment, sequentially higher from 8 per cent in the December 2018 ended quarter. 

In the March 2018 ended quarter, RIL held a 7.5 per cent market share in the bulk diesel segment. “We maintained priority position with railways,” the company said in its presentation. The railways is one of the largest consumers in the bulk diesel segment in the country. RIL also reported a 37 per cent rise in its non-railway business. The company did not disclose actual volumes for this segment. 

RIL operated 516 owned fuel retail outlets as of March 2019 and recommissioned 21 outlets in the last financial year. It operates a fuel retail network of 1,372 pumps.