Reliance Net Grows 26% To Rs 5,160 Cr

Mumbai, April 29 | Updated: Apr 30 2004, 05:30am hrs
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has become the first private sector company in India to achieve a net profit of $1 billion. The company has achieved a 26 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 5,160 crore for fiscal 2003-04 against Rs 4,104 crore for 2002-03. Gross turnover for the year registered a 14 per cent increase at Rs 74,418 crore against Rs 65,061 crore for 2002-03.

Net turnover for the fiscal rose to Rs 51,802 crore against Rs 45,898 crore for 2002-03.

For the fourth quarter-ended March 2004, RIL has registered a 28.8 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 1,419 crore against Rs 1,101 crore in the comparable quarter of the previous year.

RIL chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said in a statement: We have become the first company in the private sector in India to record a profit of over $1 billion in a year. We also became the largest cellular service provider in the country in the very first year of commercial launch of our infocom operations.

RIL has attributed the increase in sales to the increase in product selling prices of 6 per cent and increase in sales volumes of 8 per cent compared to the previous year.

The companys consolidated net profit as per the US GAAP, however, stood lower by Rs 163 crore at Rs 5,006 crore against the Indian GAAP figure of Rs 5,169 crore.

RIL has increased its dividend to 52.5 per cent which amounts to a payout of Rs 825 crore.

RILs operating margin improved during the year to 13.4 per cent against 12.9 per cent for the previous year.

The companys production of oil & gas and petrochemicals, including toll conversion, increased to 12.4 million tonne during the year against 11.8 million tonne for the previous year. RIL has also announced massive expansion plans, straddling its entire business spectrum from petrochemicals to telecom.

HLL Q1 Net Profit Declines By 21%

Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) has finally revealed the squeeze on its margins that was expected after the recent price war. For the quarter ended March, the company has posted a net profit (before exceptional items) of Rs 303 crore, which is a y-o-y decline of 21 per cent, while its operating profits have tumbled 13.7 per cent to Rs 359 crore.

Net profit after exceptional items declined 23 per cent to Rs 294.88 crore.

Nevertheless, its continuing sales have increased by three per cent to Rs 2,353 crore for the March 2004 quarter. The home & personal care (HPC) division has seen volume growth of seven per cent, while the value growth has been lower at 3.5 per cent to Rs 1,573 crore, due to the price cuts. In foods, power brands grew by eight per cent, while the overall foods growth was 1.4 per cent to Rs 409.94 crore.

On Thursday, the HLL stock opened on BSE at Rs 144.85 and reached a high of Rs 145.40 before closing the day at Rs 143.95, down 90 paise from its previous close.

Chairman MS Banga said HLLs business is now totally focused and that the company will not hesitate to make financial commitments to defend and strengthen their market position. Mr Bangas presence at an analysts-cum-press meet for announcing first quarter results is unusual, and significant in the light of the recent restructuring at HLL. The signal was that he was continues to be at the helm of affairs at HLL.

HLL director finance & IT, D Sundaram said the topline growth has been affected in toothpaste and atta, both in volume and value terms. However, vice chairman, MK Sharma said that in the processed foods category products like squash, jam, ketchup and soupy snacks will continue to drive growth. Mr Sundaram added that this business, however, cannot become as big as the HPC business. In HPC, growth in skin care brands has been driven by Fair & Lovely and Ponds.