Hurt by weak refining margins and declining gas output from its offshore fields (mainly the prestigious KG-D6), Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Friday reported a 21.2% year-on-year drop in net profit during the January-March quarter at Rs 4,236 crore against Rs 5,376 crore in the year-ago period.
Sales, however, increased by 16.7% to R87,833 crore during the quarter against Rs 75,283 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year.
For the full fiscal, net profit fell 1.2% to Rs 20,040 crore compared to R20,286 crore in the previous fiscal year. Sales increased 31.4% to Rs 339,792 crore against Rs 258,651 crore compared to the last fiscal.
RIL, which operates the world’s biggest refining complex in Gujarat, saw gross refining margins in its fourth quarter under pressure at $7.6 per barrel, down from $9.2 per barrel a year earlier and $8.8 in the previous quarter. For the full fiscal, refinery margins were marginally up at $8.6 from $8.4 a year ago.
“Our businesses have delivered industry leading performances, a reflection of the quality of our assets and growing demand for our products and services in India and internationally,” said Mukesh Ambani, the CMD, RIL. “We have created a strong foundation for future growth and are investing in our core upstream and petrochemical businesses in India.”
The company said that it held cash and equivalents worth $13.8 billion (Rs 70,252 crore) against $9.5 billion (or Rs 42,750 crore) last year. The company’s debt stood at Rs 68,259 crore ($13.4 billion).
Stating that the response to RIL’s organised retail business has been “very encouraging,” Ambani added that the company continues to expand its footprint by building more stores across verticals, formats and geographies.
In the area of telecom, RIL said its subsidiary, Infotel Broadband Services is in the process of setting up a world class broadband wireless network and is finalising the arrangements with leading global technology players, service providers and infrastructure providers to help the company “usher the 4G revolution into India.
“We remain committed towards providing world class, high speed wireless data services through the launch of our broadband access business.”
Other income during 2011-12 was higher at Rs 6,192 crore as against Rs 3,052 crore last year, which the company said was primarily due to higher average liquid investments following the sale of 30% interest by RIL to BP in its 22 oil and gas fields.