Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), India's largest firm by market capitalisation, recorded a 14% rise in its net profit to Rs 5,376 crore in the quarter ended March 31.
The company made Rs 4,710 crore net profit in the fourth quarter of 2009-10. Sales rose to Rs 72,674 crore, against Rs 57,570 crore in January-March 2010.
For the full fiscal 2010-11, net profit was up 25% at Rs 20,286 crore year on year, and sales up 29% at Rs 248,170 crore.
RIL, which operates the world's biggest refining complex in Gujarat, saw gross refining margins in its fourth quarter inch higher to $9.20 per barrel from $9 in the previous quarter and $7.50 a year earlier.
Commenting on the results, Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman and managing director, RIL said global economic growth, emerging markets' demand and supply-side tightness led to recovery in refining margins and record petrochemical earnings.The company is expected to get $7.2 billion (R32,400 crore) during 2011-12 under its deal with BP, which is taking a 23% stake in 23 oil and gas blocks being operated by RIL in India.
Another $1.8 billion (Rs 8,100 crore) could come in this fiscal as performance payments from BP, depending on exploration success during the year.
Market experts and fund managers said the decline in output of gas from RIL's KG-D6 field in the Bay of Bengal eroded earnings from refining driven by a 20% surge in average crude oil prices in the quarter from a year earlier, and could constrain RIL's diversification plans.