Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the country’s largest listed company, on Thursday reported a 9.8 per cent decline in its net profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 2008 for the first time in three years, as refining margins fell sharply.
Net profit fell to Rs 3,501 crore in the third quarter from a restated Rs 3,882 crore, excluding one-off exceptional gains a year earlier. The exceptional item in the year-earlier quarter represented gains primarily arising out of transactions concerning Reliance Petroleum Ltd shares. If the exceptional gain is considered, then the net profit would have shown a more bigger fall to Rs 3,501 crore from Rs 8,079 crore.
“This was one of the most challenging quarters for Reliance with volatility in prices and margins. Producers and consumers are coming to terms with slower global trade and economic outlook,” Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director, RIL, said in a statement issued on Thursday.
RIL’s refining margins fell to $10 per barrel from $15.4 a barrel a year ago as falling global demand in major economies due to recession dragged down oil prices sharply lower. Crude oil prices fell more than $100 from the peak of $147 barrel in July, to $44.60 at the end of December.
The company’s net turnover fell to Rs 31,563 crore from Rs 34,590 crore a year earlier. Gross turnover for RIL’s “petrochemicals” segment fell marginally to Rs 12,623 crore from Rs 12,706 crore, while the ‘refining’ segment saw a substantial decline in gross turnover to Rs 21,740 crore from Rs 26,154 crore. Gross revenue in the oil and gas segment increased to Rs 1,031 crore from Rs 758 crore. Gross revenue in the “Others” segment increased to Rs 171 crore from Rs 161 crore.
RIL’s EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) in the third quarter for the petrochemicals business fell 7 per cent while EBIT margin fell from 14 per cent to 13.1 per cent.
RIL also has a presence in the organised retail business through Reliance Retail, which launched two new formats Reliance Living Furnishings and Reliance Living Furniture.