RIL's Q1 net profit up 28% at Rs 9,108 cr on better refining, petchem biz

Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries beat Street expectations with a 28 per cent rise in consolidated first-quarter net profit on improved performance in the refining and petrochemicals business. The company reported a net profit of Rs 9,108 crore during the quarter, up from Rs 7,113 crore in the same period a year ago. 

“Our industry-leading portfolio of assets in the refining and petrochemicals business contributed to considerable improvement in our earnings for the quarter,” Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director, RIL, said in a press statement.

On recently announced plans to invest Rs 40,000 crore in the Krishna-Godavari project in partnership with BP, Reliance Industries said, “For the R-Cluster development, bids for long lead items are being evaluated and contracts are expected to be awarded in the coming quarters. The joint venture partners are expected to submit a field development plan for the MJ and satellite cluster field for management committee approval by the end of 2017.”

On its arbitration over disallowing certain costs involved for the KG-D6 block, the company said, pending the decision of arbitration, the company’s share of $247 million as part of the government’s demand towards additional profit petroleum, has been considered as contingent liability by the company. In a Bloomberg poll, six analysts had estimated a net profit of Rs 7,764 crore for RIL and revenue of Rs 76,326 crore at the consolidated level. Reliance Industries’ total income rose 26 per cent to Rs 92,661 crore from Rs 71,451 crore the same period a year ago. “The standalone numbers are slightly better from the expected performance. The consolidated profit has also been helped by an exceptional gain. However, detailed analysis would be possible after the management commentary on Friday,” said an analyst with a domestic brokerage firm who did not wish to be identified.

RIL will hold annual general meetings on Friday, followed by an analyst meet later in the evening.

“Increase in revenue is primarily on account of an increase in prices and volumes of refining and petrochemical products... Revenue was also boosted by robust growth in the retail business, which recorded a 73.6 per cent increase in revenue to Rs 11,571 crore,” the company said in a statement. 

The total income was helped by an exceptional gain of Rs 1,087 crore from the sale of Reliance Industries’ take in Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation.

However, even if the one-off gain is excluded, the net profit would have been higher than Street expectations.

Reliance Industries’ gross refining margins were $11.9 per barrel at a nine-year high. The company reported gross refining margins of $11.5 per barrel in the corresponding quarter a year ago. The refining and marketing segment reported earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of Rs 7,476 crore, an increase of 13.4 per cent, year on year. EBIT for the petrochemical business also rose 43.7 per cent to Rs 4,031 crore. “EBIT margin for the quarter was at 15.8 per cent, an all-time high,” the company said. Reliance Industries recommissioned 17 fuel retail outlets during the quarter and now operates 465 company-owned outlets.

The Reliance Industries board on Thursday also approved an investment in Balaji Telefilms for acquiring a 24.92 per cent stake. The company’s existing media business, however, reported a segment loss of Rs 41 crore, lower than Rs 62 crore in the same period a year ago.  

Reliance Industries’ oil and gas business continued to remain in the red, with a segment loss of Rs 373 crore, higher than the Rs 312 crore reported a year ago.

Reliance Industries’ outstanding debt on June 30 was Rs 2 lakh crore, up from Rs 1.96 lakh crore on March 31.

Reliance's share price closed at Rs 1,528.70 on the BSE, a decline of 0.3 per cent, on Thursday. The results came post market hours.

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