India’s Reliance reports 9.8pc jump in profits

20th April, 2019 09:25:36 printer

MUMBAI: Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries on Thursday reported a 9.8 percent rise in consolidated net profit boosted by strong revenues from its telecom venture Jio and retail business.

The Mumbai-based company owned by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, said consolidated net profit for the three months through March rose to 103.62 billion rupees ($1.49 billion) from 94.38 billion rupees a year earlier for the same quarter.

“Focus on service and customer satisfaction led to higher numbers of subscribers and footfalls across our consumer businesses, driving robust revenue growth,” Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.

The company has business investments in refining, retail, telecommunications and petrochemicals, reports AFP.

The company in March was forced to cap its crude imports from sanction-hit Venezuela following pressure from the United States. It had also stopped exporting diluents to the crisis-hit South American country.

Revenues for the period were up by 18 percent to 1.42 trillion rupees as it reported a spurt in revenues from its retail businesses.

The company also said its telecom venture Jio reported a net profit of 8.40 billion rupees for the quarter due to an increase in its subscriber base to 300 million.

Ambani launched Reliance Jio with much fanfare in September 2016 offering free services up to March 2017, sparking intense fare wars and creating consolidation in the Indian telecom sector.

Experts say Reliance is preparing to compete with e-commerce platform Flipkart, backed by Walmart, and Amazon by announcing the launch of its retail business.

Reliance said in a statement that its gross refining margin, the profit earned from each barrel of crude, was down to $8.2 in the March quarter from $8.8 in the previous quarter.

Refining margins are a key profitability gauge for Reliance, one of the world’s largest refiners.

Shares of Reliance rose almost three percent Thursday ahead of the earnings announcement, which came after the local stock market closed.