Reliance Q4 net vaults 32% to Rs5,589cr on refining margins

Reliance Industries Ltd has reported a 31.9 per cent increase in fiscal fourth quarter (January-March 2012-13) net profit at Rs5,589 crore, against a net profit of Rs4,236 crore in the year-before quarter.

Revenue, however, was down 1.4 per cent year-on-year at Rs86,618 crore in January-March 2012-13 against Rs87,833 crore in the year-ago quarter.

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries said the rebound in margins offset falling oil and gas revenue. It said oil and gas revenue was down nearly 39 per cent in the quarter.

The company, which operates the world's biggest refining complex near Jamnagar, in Gujarat, reported an average gross oil refining margin of $10.1 per barrel for the quarter compared to $7.6 in the same period last year.

For the full fiscal year, RIL reported record net profit of Rs 21,0003 crore ($3.9 billion) and record EBIT of Rs12,788 crore ($2.4 billion).

Revenue rose to a record Rs371,119 crore (68.4 billion) during the year ended 31 March 2013, despite a 39 per cent fall in gas output at its main KG Basin offshore field.

RIL also achieved the highest-ever exports of Rs239,226 crore ($ 44.1 billion), 14 per cent of India's total exports in the fiscal.

Reliance, which has been under pressure from investors due to its slowing energy business, was looking to enter consumer-focused sectors such as telecoms, retail and financial services in a big way.

RIL also this month signed a fibre optic sharing deal with Reliance Communications, controlled by Anil Ambani, to speed up the rollout of its 4G telecom services.

RIL and partner BP are currently lobbying for a major hike in gas prices to justify their higher expenditure against declining production in the KG block.

RIL said the company and its partner BP are planning to invest in a series of projects to develop around 4 trillion cubic feet of discovered natural gas resources from the block.

At current international liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices, it would cost more than $50 billion to import this volume of gas into India. This plan, when implemented, would entail a potential total investment in excess of $5 billion over the next three to five years, the release said.

''Reliance has delivered another year of strong operating performance in an environment of continued volatile economic conditions. The growth in earnings was largely driven by strong and improved refining margins during the year. Production growth from our investments in unconventional liquids-rich resource plays in North America has reinforced our confidence in creating long-term value for our shareholders from this diversification,'' Mukesh D Ambani, chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries Limited, said.

''We are delighted to see our retail business achieving a milestone of annual revenue crossing Rs10,000 crore and will further strengthen our position in this sector. We are working on projects that form the foundation of our aspirations to become one of the world's most competitive producers of petroleum and petrochemical products while developing consumer centric businesses in India,'' he added.

The Reliance stock was up 1.4 per cent at Rs804.95 at close of trading today, ahead of the results. The company's stock has fallen 4 per cent so far in 2013.