RIL profit dips in slowdown | business | Hindustan Times
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RIL profit dips in slowdown

Reliance’s net profit in the January-March fourth quarter of 2008-09 was down by 1 per cent at Rs 3,874 crore. The profits, though muted, reflected a steady mood in India Inc. amid global unease.

business Updated: Apr 24, 2009 01:30 IST

Indian oil, gas and petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries Ltd. said Thursday that quarterly profits fell 9.4 percent and sales fell 24.9 percent, as waning demand pushed global crude prices lower.

Net profit in the three months ending March 31 was 35.46 billion rupees ($730 million), down from 39.12 billion rupees ($800 million) in the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter fell 24.9 percent, to 290.73 billion rupees ($5.96 billion).

Sales for the fiscal year ending March 31 rose 8.3 percent, to 1.51 trillion rupees ($30.91 billion), thanks to higher prices, higher volumes and growing exports.

Net profit for the year fell 21.5 percent, to 152.79 billion rupees ($3.13 billion).

Chairman Mukesh Ambani called it a “transformational year” for the company, India’s largest private-sector firm.

“Our operating performance with earnings growth is creditable in a year of extraordinary challenges of price volatility and demand reduction,” he said in a statement.

Deepak Parekh, an analyst at Mumbai’s Angel Broking, called the quarterly results “decent” and said they beat market expectations.

Not counting a one-time charge of 3.70 billion rupees ($80 million) relating to claims made by subsidiaries, which the company did not detail, quarterly profits were nearly flat, declining just 1 percent last quarter from the year-earlier period.

Parekh said income from petrochemicals production and surplus cash helped make up for lower-than-expected refining margins, which the company said slipped last year to $12.20 a barrel, down from $15.00 a barrel the prior year.

Reliance is well-positioned to withstand volatility in oil prices because most of its income comes from refining, not production, and from fixed-price natural gas contracts, he added.

Reliance said it has 250 billion rupees ($5.13 billion) in cash.