Reliance Industries (RIL) posted a better-than-expected financial performance for the January-March quarter of 2018, led by strong performance from the petrochemical, refining, retail and telecom businesses.
Net profit for the March quarter increased 17.3% year-on-year to Rs 9,435 crore, while revenue from operations (net of excise) increased by 37.83% to Rs 1,16,915 crore, largely led by increase in volumes with the start-up of new petrochemicals projects, and increase in realisation due to rise in crude oil price for refining and petrochemicals products. Consensus estimates by Bloomberg projected profit at Rs 9,379 crore.
The January-March quarter gross refining margins were slightly lower at $11 per barrel compared with $11.5/bbl a year ago on account of movement in differentials between the light and heavy crude. Reliance Industries, which has the ability to process very heavy crude at its refineries, earns higher margins as the difference between the prices of light and heavy crude increases. The company earned a $4.4/bbl premium to the Singapore refining margin during the quarter.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, said FY18 was a landmark year for Reliance where they established several records on both operating and financial parameters. “Reliance has become the first Indian company to record PBDIT of over $10 billion with each of our key businesses — refining, petrochemicals, retail and digital services, achieving record earnings performance.”
The refining and marketing business, which contributes roughly 80% of the total revenues, saw its segment revenue increase by 29.8% YoY to Rs 93,519 crore, as crude oil prices moved 24.2% higher. Segment EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) was, however, down by 10.9% YoY on reduced crude throughput and adverse movement in Brent crude differentials, V Srikanth, joint chief financial officer of RIL, said while commenting on the results.
The petrochemical segment was the top performer with segment revenue growing 44% to Rs 38,113 crore on the back of higher volumes and prices. The segment EBIT was higher by 87% YoY at Rs 6,435 crore, supported by strong volume growth to 31 million tonne and higher margins on polypropylene, downstream polyester and fibre products.
The organised retail business segment revenue was up 134% yoy to Rs 24,183 crore while EBIT margin was higher at 3.9% from 2.4% a year ago. The segment’s profit before depreciation interest and taxes was Rs 1,086 crore as against Rs 352 crore a year ago. The company added 86 stores in the January-March quarter and as at March-end operated 3,837 stores.