INDIAN conglomerate Reliance Industries on Friday (19) reported an 18.3 per cent rise in consolidated net profit due to a better-than-expected refining margin and growth in its consumer-facing business.
The Mumbai-based company owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani said its consolidated net profit for the three months through September rose to Rs 113 billion (£1.22bn) from Rs 95bn reported for the same quarter a year earlier.
“The company has reported record net profit for the quarter. These excellent results reflect benefits of our integrated oil to chemicals value chain and the rapid scale-up of our consumer businesses,” Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.
Reliance said its gross refining margin, the profit earned from each barrel of crude, was up at $9.4 in the September quarter from $8.1 in the previous quarter.
Refining margins are a key profitability gauge for the company, which operates the world’s biggest refining complex in Gujarat state.
The oil-to-telecoms giant said profits for its telecom arm Jio were up by 45.4 per cent at Rs 9.90bn for the quarter, with a total 355.2 million subscribers.
Ambani launched Reliance Jio with much fanfare in September 2016 offering free services up to March 2017, sparking intense price wars that saw consolidation in the Indian telecom sector.
“Jio today has the highest market share in terms of 4G subscriber base and 4G data traffic in India,” Ambani said.
Reliance resumed crude imports from crisis-hit Venezuela earlier this week, using diesel exports to pay for them under a barter system that complied with US sanctions.
It was forced to cap crude imports from the South American country in March following pressure from the US.
Reliance became India’s first company to reach a market capitalisation of Rs 9 trillion as the markets surged earlier Friday.
In September, Ambani launched a broadband service JioFiber, offering a minimum internet speed of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) from Rs 699 ($9.80) per month.
Ambani is also currently engaged in fierce competition with Amazon and Walmart in an ongoing race to dominate India’s e-commerce market.
Shares of Reliance Industries were up 1.37 per cent in Mumbai as the markets closed Friday ahead of the announcement.