The impact of global recession was visible on the financial performance of India’s largest private sector company —Reliance Industries Ltd, which on Thursday posted its second consecutive decline in quarterly profits. It was its first such sequential quarterly profit dip since 1998.
Reliance’s net profit in the January-March fourth quarter of 2008-09 was down by 1 per cent at Rs 3,874 crore as compared to Rs 3,912 crore in the same period last year. The company’s Q4 turnover was down 24.9 per cent at Rs 29,073 crore as against Rs 38,697 crore in the same period in the previous year.
For the year ended March 2009, Reliance clocked a 2.3 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 15,607 crore as against Rs 15,261 crore in the previous year. Annual turnover rose by 8.3 per cent at Rs 150,771 crore.
This is the slowest growth witnessed by Reliance in its profits since 1997, when the company’s profits grew by only 1.3 per cent.
Reliance gets 70 per cent of its revenues from export of petroleum Products, in which slack demand in the wake of the economic crisis hit business. But analysts expect a recovery based on RIL’s natural gas sales from India’s biggest gas field.
“Most of Reliance’s growth will come from natural gas sales. Refining margins are expected to improve, but it is gas that will drive earnings,” said the head of research of a leading brokerage firm.