Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries on Friday reported a net profit of Rs 9,567 crore in the July-September period, marking an annual decline of 15 per cent but still exceeding analysts' estimates. The oil-to-telecom conglomerate had posted a net profit of Rs 11,262 crore in the corresponding period a year ago. Reliance Industries' revenue from operations fell 24 per cent to Rs 1,16,195 crore from Rs 1,53,384 crore in the year-ago period, according to a regulatory filing.
Analysts had on average expected Reliance Industries' net profit at Rs 8,548 crore, news agency Reuters reported citing Refinitiv data.
Reliance Industries' group operations and revenue were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic during the quarter, the company said in a press release.
Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) - or operating profit - increased 7.9 per cent to Rs 23,299 crore in the three months to September 30, compared to the previous quarter.
The company's gross refining margin (GRM) - a key measure of profitability for an oil refining company - reduced to $5.7 per barrel in the second quarter of current financial year, from $6.3 per barrel in the April-June period.
However, Reliance Industries' telecom arm, Reliance Jio Infocomm, reported a nearly three-fold jump in net profit to Rs 2,844 crore, boosted by COVID-19-related restrictions that led to increased data usage.
Reliance Jio Infocomm's revenue climbed up 42 per cent to Rs 17,481 crore. Its average revenue per user (ARPU), a key measure of profitability, improved to Rs 145 per month from Rs 140.3 per month in the previous quarter.
Reliance Industries said Jio Platforms - its digital services arm which houses telecom service provider Jio - raised Rs 1.52 lakh crore from global investors including Facebook, Google, Silver Lake, Vista General Atlantic, KKR, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Intel Capital during the quarter.
"We delivered strong overall operational and financial performance compared to previous quarter with recovery in petrochemicals and retail segment, and sustained growth in Digital Services business... Retail business activity has normalised with strong growth in key consumption baskets as lockdowns ease across the country," said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries.
Reliance Industries' retail arm, Reliance Retail Ventures, registered a profit of Rs 973 crore, more than double compared to the year-ago.
Reliance Industries shares ended 1.37 per cent higher at Rs 2,054.35 on the BSE ahead of the earnings announcement.