India’s fourth-largest company by market value — Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) — on Thursday said the company has embarked upon the largest investment programme in its history and will invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore across energy, petrochemicals and telecom businesses over the next three years.
“We are committed to investing Rs 150,000 crore in the next three years and are making significant investments in all five businesses simultaneously — exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and 4G,” RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders at its 39th AGM in Mumbai.
Aiming to make consumer business a growth engine for Reliance Industries, Ambani said the group’s retail venture is eyeing 50% growth in annual revenues to achieve sales of Rs 40,000-50,000 crore within a few years.
RIL operates around 1,500 stores in 130 cities under its retail business that sells consumer goods, including apparel, food and electronics and is India’s second-biggest retailer behind Kishore Biyani-led Future group.
The company was also eyeing a sustainable growth in its shale gas business in the US, the RIL chairman said.
The company plans to increase capacity at its existing petrochemical plants and build new ones, drill more wells to boost flagging oil and gas production, open more retail stores and shortly start high-speed broadband service, he added.
RIL’s retail business clocked revenues of over Rs 10,000 crore during 2012-13, and a cash break-even with earnings before depreciation, finance cost and tax expense of Rs 78 crore.
“I am confident that our retail business would undertake multi-fold growth in the next few years by delivering over 50% revenue growth in various format sectors year-on-year and is on its way to achieve revenue target of Rs 40,000- 50,000 crore as shared by me in our last AGM,” he said.
“The increasing prominence of the retailing business is a key takeaway,” said Gautam Sinha Roy, vice-president, equities, Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd.
RIL’s shares ended down 1% down to R792 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Describing petrochemicals as the foundation of Reliance’s growth strategy over the last 35 years, he said petrochem capacity will increase from 15 million tonnes per year to 25 million tonnes, while polyester capacity will rise by 1.5 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes per year.
With output at its flagship KG-D6 fields dipping to an all-time low of less than 15 million standard cubic meters, Ambani said various “production augmentation efforts” were underway to maximise recovery from existing fields in KG D6 block.
Full text of Mukesh Ambani's speech