While the retail business was somewhat subdued to the lockdowns in several parts of the country, the company’s consumer business contributed nearly half of the consolidated operating profits.
The operating margin for the retail segment was 5.5% in the quarter and the business operated close to 30 million sq ft. “With operating curbs being lifted progressively, store expansion resumed with 232 stores being opened during the quarter, taking the current footprint of the business to 11,931 stores, spread over 29.7 million sq ft of retail space,” the company said in a release.
The digital piece posted strong numbers on the back of a higher subscriber base and higher Arpus of Rs 145 as the company upped tariffs in December 2019. The petrochemicals division fared well as prices remained firm on a quarterly basis and cracking margins improved due to a better feedstock mix and favourable economics for ethane cracking. The company’s crackers operated at nearly full capacity.
RIL’s GRMs for the quarter were at a hefty premium to the average Singapore complex and came in at $5.705/barrel compared with $9.4 per barrel in Q2FY20. The Ebitda for the September quarter fell by 21.4% sequentially, primarily due to higher crude cost. The performance was also partially affected by planned turnaround during the quarter, RIL said in a release. Reliance BP Mobility operated 1,406 fuel retail outlets during the quarter.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director, said domestic demand has sharply recovered across the O2C business and is now near pre-Covid level for most products. “Retail business activity has normalised with strong growth in key consumption baskets as lockdowns ease across the country,” Ambani said.