India's Reliance posts 43% jump in second-quarter profit to exceed pre-Covid levels

Increased demand and higher average sales price for oil products boosted the company's core chemicals-to-oil business

Reliance Industries, India's most valuable company, reported second-quarter profit that jumped 43 per cent to exceed market expectations, as higher demand for oil products boosted its mainstay oil-to-chemicals business. Reuters
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries' second quarter net profit surged 43 per cent, beating analyst estimates and exceeding pre-pandemic levels, as it recorded growth across its business units and as higher demand for oil products boosted its core chemicals-to-oil business.

The Mumbai-based energy-to-telecom company's consolidated net profit attributable to owners of the company rose to 136.80 billion rupees ($1.82bn) in the three months ending September 30, from 95.67bn rupees in the same quarter last year, it said on Saturday. Revenue from operations grew nearly 50 per cent year-on-year to 1.74 trillion rupees.

"All our businesses reflect growth over pre-Covid levels. Our operational and financial performance reflects sharp recovery in the retail segment and sustained growth in oil-to-chemicals (O2C) and digital services business," Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, said. "This demonstrates the inherent strengths of our businesses and the robust recovery of the Indian and global economies."

Reliance Industries' telecom unit Jio reported a 23.5 per cent annual rise in second quarter profit to 37.2bn rupees as it added 23.8 million customers and reached a total customer base of 429.5 million as of September 30.

Revenue from the company's oil-to-chemicals unit, home to both its refining and petrochemicals operations, rose 58.1 per cent to $16.2bn on the back of the increase in oil prices and higher volumes.

"Our O2C business benefited from sharp recovery in demand across products and higher transportation fuel margins," Mr Ambani said.

The company has a target to reach net-zero carbon by 2035.

"We continue to make steady progress in accelerating our foray into new energy and new materials business," Mr Ambani said. "Our partnership approach and the desire to bring India to the forefront of global transition to clean and green transition is underscored by our recent investments in some of the best companies in the world in the solar and green energy space."

Reliance's retail arm recorded a 74.2 per cent year-on-year jump in second quarter net profit to $228 million with "robust growth across all consumption baskets led by strong revival in consumer sentiments" amid festivities, relaxations in Covid-related curbs and the administration of vaccinations, the company said.

"Reliance Retail continues to grow on the back of rapid expansion of both physical stores and digital offerings resulting in healthy growth in revenues and margin expansion," Mr Ambani said.

During the quarter, the company opened 813 new stores, taking the total count to 13,635 stores across 37.3 million square foot retail space.

Updated: October 23, 2021, 8:06 AM