Reliance net jumps 27.8% on better refining margin

Reliance Industries, the Mukesh Ambani-controlled energy-to-retail conglomerate, today said net profit jumped 27.8 per for the quarter ended September 2010 on the back of improved margins on turning crude oil into fuels and higher output from its Krishna-Godavari gas fields on the eastern coast of the country.

India’s most valuable company reported a net profit of Rs 4,923 crore for the quarter, up from Rs 3,852 crore in the same quarter of the previous year. This is Reliance Industries’ highest quarterly profit since December 2007. “Improved refining margins and high operating rates at all our manufacturing facilities led to a record quarter,” Ambani, the chairman & managing director of Reliance Industries, said in a statement.

The company’s two refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat earned a refining margin of $7.9 during the quarter, against $6 per barrel during the corresponding quarter of the previous year. (During the quarter, Singapore refining margin stood at $4.2 per barrel.

Reliance Industries’ revenue from oil refining and fuel marketing was up 25.5 per cent to Rs 49,672 crore. The revenue from the sale of natural gas from the Krishna-Godavari fields jumped 46.5 per cent to Rs 4,303 crore. Its petrochemical business, however, showed lower growth of 13.2 per cent to Rs 15,096 crore during the quarter.

“The numbers are in line with market expectations. The improvement in gross refining margin was offset by the shutdown in the Panna-Mukta-Tapti field and the pressure on petrochemical margins which were bad due to the lower polypropylene margins. While sequential earnings were flat, year-on-year performance was good due to ramp up in production in the Krishna-Godavari basin,” said Vinay Nair, research analyst at Khandwala Securities.

The company's outstanding debt as on September 30 was Rs 68,198 crore, up from Rs 62,495 crore on March 31, 2010. It had cash and cash equivalents of Rs 29,354 crore in fixed deposits, certificates of deposit with banks, mutual funds and government securities/bonds.

The net capital expenditure for the first half of 2010-11 stood at Rs 3,296 crore.

During the quarter, Reliance Industries raised $1.5 billion in an overseas bond issue to support its international joint ventures in shale gas. The company struck three shale gas joint ventures in the United States this year and has built a war chest of $6.5 billion to fund acquisitions. During the quarter, it also acquired 14.8 per cent in East India Hotels which runs the upscale Oberoi and Trident hotels.

Infotel Broadband Services, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has emerged a successful bidder for Broadband Wireless Access Spectrum conducted by the Department of Telecommunications in all the 22 circles. In August 2010, Infotel received the letter of allotment of for the spectrum. “Infotel is in the process of finalising the arrangement with leading global technology players, service providers, infrastructure providers, application developers, device manufacturers and others to leapfrog India to the 4G (fourth generation of telecommunication services) revolution,” the company said in the statement.

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