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Reliance Industries Q4 net profit remains flat

Annual earnings hit record on the back of a recovery in its core oil and petrochemicals business and sustained momentum across the consumer-facing telecom and retail businesses.For the full fiscal FY24 (April 2023 to March 2024), Reliance posted a record net profit of Rs 69,621 cr as compared to Rs 66,702 cr earnings in the preceding financial year

Reliance Industries Q4 net profit remains flat

New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd on Monday reported an almost flat March quarter net profit, while its annual earnings hit a record high on the back of a recovery in its core oil and petrochemicals business and sustained momentum across the consumer-facing telecom and retail businesses.

The oil-to-telecom-and-retail conglomerate's consolidated net profit stood at Rs 18,951 crore, or Rs 28.01 per share, in January-March quarter of the 2023-24 fiscal compared to Rs 19,299 crore, or Rs 28.52 a share, a year ago, according to a company's stock exchange filing.

The profit was, however, higher quarter-on-quarter when compared to Rs 17,265 crore in October-December period. For the full fiscal FY24 (April 2023 to March 2024), Reliance posted a record net profit of Rs 69,621 crore as compared to Rs 66,702 crore earnings in the preceding financial year.

Reliance also became the first Indian company to hit Rs 10 lakh crore turnover in FY24 when revenue from operations rose 2.6 per cent from Rs 9.74 lakh crore in 2022-23. The oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business, the main milch cow, posted a rise in profitability annually as well as sequentially, while retail business' earnings rose on new store openings despite lower footfalls.

The firm helmed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani saw telecom revenues soar as it outpaced competition in subscriber addition and data traffic. While quarterly EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was up 14.3 per cent year-on-year to Rs 47,150 crore, registering growth across all businesses, the revenue from operations rose almost 11 per cent to Rs 2.64 lakh crore.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, said all segments of business have posted a robust financial and operating performance. "This has helped the Company achieve multiple milestones. I am happy to share that this year, Reliance became the first Indian company to cross the Rs 1 lakh-crore threshold in pre-tax profits," he said.

Performance of the digital services segment has been boosted by accelerated expansion of subscriber base, supported by both mobility and fixed wireless services, he said. "With over 108 million True 5G customers, Jio truly leads the 5G transformation in India." Reliance Retail, he said, continued to provide customers endless choices through its robust omni-channel presence.

"We continue to offer product differentiation and superior offline experience through stores re-modelling and revamping of layouts. Our digital commerce platforms also provide newer solutions to users with a broad brand catalogue," Ambani said.

Strong demand for fuels globally, and limited flexibility in refining system worldwide supported margins and profitability of the O2C segment. "Downstream chemical industry experienced increasingly challenging market conditions through the year. Despite headwinds, maintaining leading product positions and feedstock flexibility through our operating model that prioritises cost management, we delivered a resilient performance," he said.

"We remain committed to our projects and initiatives, including those in the new energy segment, which will bolster the company, and help it deliver sustainable growth for the future," he added.

The mainstay oil refining and petrochemicals business, called O2C, posted a 11 per cent rise in revenue and a 3 per cent higher EBITDA at Rs 16,777 crore in Q4. This was primarily because of "advantageous" sourcing of feedstock (crude oil) for refining business and use of ethane for making chemicals as well as higher domestic product placement, a company statement said, adding exports were down 8.5 per cent.

With the consumer base swelling to 481.8 million from 470.9 million at the end of December on a flat per-user revenues of Rs 181.7, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd - the digital services business - posted a 12 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 5,583 crore in the fourth quarter of FY24. Also, aiding the business was rise in data traffic to 40.9 billion GB in January-March from 38.1 billion GB in the preceding quarter.

For the full year, Jio posted a profit of Rs 21,424 crore as compared to Rs 19,124 crore in FY23. Profits from the retail business climbed 11.7 per cent to Rs 2,698 crore as store count rose to 18,836 from 18,774. Store footfalls dropped to 272 million from 282 million in October-December 2023 but were higher than 219 million recorded in January-March 2023.

Oil and gas EBITDA soared 47.5 per cent to Rs 5,606 crore as higher gas volumes partly offset lower price realisation. The firm's flagship KG-D6 block in Krishna Godavari basin in the Bay of Bengal is now producing about 30 million standard cubic metres per day of gas and 23,000 barrels a day of oil/condensate.

The company said its outstanding debt rose to Rs 3.24 lakh crore from Rs 3.11 lakh crore in December-end. After accounting for cash in hand, net debt at Rs 1.16 lakh crore as on March 31 was lower than Rs 1.25 lakh crore a year back.

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