Reliance Industries Q3 net up 12 pc on strong momentum at retail, Jio

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd on Friday reported a better-than-expected 12 per cent rise in December quarter net profit on improving oil-to-chemical business, strong continued momentum in retail and steady telecom unit Jio.

Consolidated net profit in October-December stood at Rs 13,101 crore, compared to Rs 11,640 crore net earning in the same period a year back, the company said in a statement.

While oil-to-chemical or O2C business improved quarter-on-quarter, it was lower than year-ago earnings but this was more than made good by a spurt in consumer-facing businesses of telecom and retail which now contribute to 51 per cent of earnings as compared to 37 per cent a year back.

About 56 per cent of the pre-tax profit (EBITDA) of Rs 8,483 comes from Jio and Reliance Retail.

Net income increase was further aided by a 20 per cent year-on-year decline in finance expenses due to cash coming in the digital unit, Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail from Google/financial investors respectively. Revenue was down 18.6 per cent at Rs 137,829 crore.

Jio, the telecom arm, posted a 15.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise in net profit to Rs 3,489 crore as it added over 25 million subscribers and per user income rose to Rs 151 per month. It had 410.8 million subscribers at the end of December.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) compared with Rs 145 per month in the previous quarter.

A sharp recovery in fashion and lifestyle businesses helping retail get back to pre-COVID level saw the segment’s cash profit rise 76.3 per cent to Rs 2,482 crore.

Overall retail revenue was dragged down by transfer of fuel retailing business to a separate unit where UK’s BP Plc has 49 per cent stake, and one-off factors impacting grocery.

The firm added 327 new stores to take the total number to 12,201.

The traditional O2C business EBITDA was down 28.1 per cent at Rs 8,756 crore on lower prices and pandemic impacting fuel demand. It, however, was up quarter-on-quarter.