Reliance Industries today reported its highest-ever quarterly net profit of Rs 7,290 crore for the three months ended December on refinery margins spiking to seven-year high.
Net profit of Rs 7,290 crore, or Rs 24.8 per share, in October-December was 38.7 per cent higher than Rs 5,256 crore, or Rs 17.8 a share, in the same period a year ago, the company said in a statement.
Sales, however, fell 24 per cent to Rs 73,341 crore on benchmark crude oil prices declining 42.7 per cent year-on-year.
The operator of the world's biggest oil-refinery complex earned USD 11.5 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel during the third quarter of the current fiscal as compared to a gross refining margin of USD 7.3 per barrel in the year-ago period.
The GRMs in December quarter were at seven-year high and the company's Jamnagar refineries in Gujarat earn USD 2.5 per barrel more than Singapore average.
Also the refineries had a record throughput, turning 18 million tons of crude oil into fuel.
Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL, said: "Our portfolio of world-class refining and petrochemical assets are paying-off handsomely. Refining business delivered yet another record performance on the back of seven-year high refining margins and highest ever crude throughput."
The petrochemical business, he said, also delivered amongst its best quarterly performance, driven by robust polymer margins.
"The benefits of low crude oil and energy prices for our downstream businesses clearly outweigh the impact of these factors on our upstream segment, reflecting in the record earnings for the quarter," he said.
Pre-tax profit from refining business almost doubled to Rs 6,491 crore in October-December, the same from petrochemical business soared 28 per cent to Rs 2,639 crore.
The company said its telecom arm Reliance Jio "is rolling out a state-of-the-art pan India digital services business" but stopped sort of saying when the commercial launch will happen.
"In the biggest ever launch, Jio services have been offered to over 100,000 group employees and their families enabling them to experience the world-class digital services and applications, and help cocreating the best experience for all our customers," Ambani said.
Jio has "substantially optimised its network and is currently testing service offerings across the breadth of the country for providing a superior experience to its customers.
In addition to testing and validation, the end-to-end services are being tested by RIL group employees, channel partners and vendors who are among the first to test the true 4G network experience," the statement said.
EBIT from oil and gas production business, however, dropped 89 per cent to Rs 90 crore on "lower oil/condensate prices and decline in gas production from KG-D6 block".
Reliance Retail continued its growth momentum and achieved significant milestones in the quarter. It posted highest-ever quarterly turnover of Rs 6,042 crore during the third quarter against Rs 4,686 crore during the same period last year registering a growth of 29 per cent.
The business delivered pre-tax profit of Rs 243 crore in 3Q FY16 as against Rs 227 crore a year ago.
Other income was higher at Rs 2,426 crore as against Rs 2,340 crore in corresponding period of the previous year due to gains on sale of investments.
Interest cost was lower at Rs 921 crore as against Rs 1,137 crore in October-December 2014-15.
RIL's outstanding debt was higher at Rs 178,077 crore as on December 31, 2015 when compared to Rs 172,765 crore as on September 30. Its cash balance was also higher at Rs 91,736 crore, compared with Rs 85,720 crore.
Cost of raw materials declined by 39.5 per cent to Rs 37,638 crore from Rs 62,196 crore on Y-o-Y basis primarily on account of sharp decline in crude oil prices. Brent oil price averaged at USD 43.7 per barrel in the third quarter of 2015-16 as compared to USD 76.3 a barrel in the corresponding period of the previous year.