Reliance Industries Ltd posted a 32% rise in its quarterly profit on Tuesday, as a rebound in margins at its core refining business offset falling oil and gas revenue.
Reliance, controlled by India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, said net profit in its fiscal fourth quarter which ended on March 31 rose 32% from a year earlier to a higher-than-expected Rs 55.89 billion ($1.02 billion).
Revenue, however, fell 1.4% to Rs 866.18 billion, as oil and gas revenue was down nearly 39% in the quarter. For the full fiscal year, gas output at its main KG Basin offshore field fell 39%.
The company, which operates the world's biggest refining complex in western India, reported an average gross oil refining margin of $10.1 per barrel for the quarter compared to $7.6 in the same period last year.
Analysts had expected Reliance to post a net profit of Rs 54.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Reliance, India's third biggest company by market value, has been under pressure from investors due to its slowing energy business and a drive into consumer-focused sectors such as telecoms, retail and financial services, which have yet to turn a profit.
The company said it has cash and equivalents of Rs 829.75 billion.
The company this month signed a fibre optic sharing deal with Reliance Communications, controlled by Mukesh Ambani's brother Anil, that will help speed up the rollout of its planned 4G telecom services.
The Indian government is expected to increase natural gas prices by early 2014, which would help Reliance and its partner BP Plc justify higher expenditure to offset declining production on the KG block.
Shares in Reliance closed up 1.4% at Rs 804.95 ahead of the results. The company, valued at roughly $48 billion, has seen its stock fall 4% so far in 2013, roughly in line with a 3.5% drop in the main stock index during in the same period.