India’s most valuable company Reliance Industries on Friday posted a record quarterly net profit of Rs 11,640 crore as a turnaround in oil refining business together with the continued rise in the share of its consumer businesses of retail and telecom countered lower profitability in petrochemicals.
The oil-to-telecom conglomerate, led by richest Indian Mukesh Ambani, reported a net profit of Rs 11,640 crore, or Rs 18.4 per share, in October-December, up from Rs 10,251 crore, or Rs 17.3 a share, in the same period of the previous financial year, the company said in a statement.
This is the highest quarterly net profit earned by any private company, surpassing its own previous best of Rs 11,262 crore in the July-September 2019 period.
State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) holds the distinction of posting the highest ever quarterly profit by any Indian firm when it had reported a net profit of Rs 14,512.81 crore in January-March 2013.
However, consolidated revenue fell 1.4 per cent to Rs 1,68,858 crore in the third quarter of 2019-20.
While oil refining margins rose after six straight quarters of decline, the company opened 415 more retail stores and added 37.1 million subscribers to its Jio mobile phone service that helped increase the profitability of the venture. But the weakness in its traditional petrochemical businesses continued.
The operator of the world’s largest oil refining complex saw pre-tax earnings from the business rise 12 per cent to Rs 5,657 crore in the third quarter of the current fiscal year.
It earned $9.2 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel as compared to a gross refining margin (GRM) of $8.8 per barrel in the October-December 2018. The GRM was, however, lower than USD 9.4 per barrel earned in July-September 2019.
Reliance reported record pre-tax profit from its retail and telecom businesses. The two segments now account for nearly 40 per cent of its EBITDA, up from close to 25 per cent last financial year.
With its retail store strength rising to 11,316 from 10,901 at the end of the second quarter, the retail business posted a 58 per cent jump in pre-tax profit to Rs 2,389 crore and a 27 per cent rise in revenue at Rs 45,327 crore.