Millennium Post

Reliance Q2 net falls 15% on weak oil business

New Delhi: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd on Friday reported a 15 per cent drop in second quarter net profit after a slump in core oil and chemicals business dragged down continued good showing in consumer-facing verticals such as telecom.

Net profit attributable to owners at Rs 9,567 crore in July-September compared with Rs 11,262 crore a year back, Reliance said in a stock exchange filing.

The oil-to-telecom-to-retail conglomerate saw consumer-facing units doing well amid the lockdown easing but the core business continued to face pressure. The firm's net addition of 7.3 million subscribers and per-user revenue rising to Rs 145 helped the telecom business soar.

Digital services, which includes the telecom arm Jio, saw pre-tax profit surge 53 per cent to Rs 8,345 crore as revenues soared by more than one-third. With markets gradually opening up in the second quarter after a strict lockdown, revenue from the retail business was almost flat at Rs 39,199 crore and EBITDA was 14 per cent lower at Rs 2,009 crore.

Petrochemicals revenue fell 23 per cent to Rs 29,665 crore and pre-tax profit dropped 33 per cent at Rs 5,964 crore.

Refining EBITA almost halved to Rs 3,002 crore as revenue slumped 36 per cent. The firm's twin refineries earned $5.7 per barrel on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel.

The profit in Q2 was lower sequentially as well as the April-June earning of Rs 13,248 crore included one-time gain of Rs 7,629 crore from sale of 49 per cent stake in petro retailing business to BP.

The company has sold minority stake in the retail and telecom businesses to investors such as Silver Lake and KKR. It raised Rs 1.52 lakh crore from sale of stake in Jio Platforms and another Rs 37,710 crore from the sale of an 8.48 per cent stake in its retail unit.

The firm had a gross debt of Rs 279,251 crore as of September 30, down from Rs 336,294 crore in the previous quarter. After considering Rs 185,711 crore of cash and Rs 30,210 crore received from stake sale deals that have closed and another Rs 73,586 crore pending from the strategic investors, the firm had a surplus of Rs 10,250 crore.

Commenting on the results, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said, "We delivered strong overall operational and financial performance compared to the previous quarter with recovery in petrochemicals and retail segment and sustain growth in the digital services business."

"Domestic demand has sharply recovered across our oil-to-chemical (O2C) business and is now near the pre-Covid level for most products. Retail business activity has normalised with strong growth in key consumption baskets as lockdown ease across the country," he added. With large capital raise in the last six months across Jio and retail business, several strategic and financial investors have joined the Reliance family, he said. "We continue to pursue growth initiatives in each of our businesses with a focus on the India opportunity," he further said.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industries telecom sector arm Relince Jio on Friday posted an almost three-fold jump in net profit to Rs 2,844 crore for the second quarter ended September 30.

The company had registered a net profit of about Rs 990 crore in the corresponding period previous year. Jio's revenue from operations increased by 33 per cent to Rs 17,481 crore during the just-ended quarter, compared to Rs 13,130 crore in the same period of 2019-20, according to a regulatory filing.

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