Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries on Friday reported a 43 per cent jump in its September quarter net profit as its businesses from oil to retail fired on all cylinders, growing both sequentially and on a year-on-year basis.
Net profit of Rs 13,680 crore, or Rs 20.88 per share, in July-September compared with Rs 9,567 crore, or Rs 14.84 a share, in the same period a year back, the company said in a statement.
While better realisation and a sharp rise in crude oil prices benefited the old-economy business, retail saw footfalls at stores reach pre-Covid levels and per user earning from telecom business rose.
Revenue was up 49 per cent at Rs 191,532 crore.
Reliance operates four business verticals - the Oil-to-Chemical (or O2C) business includes its oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and fuel retailing business; retail business that houses brick-and-motor stores and e-commerce; Digital Services that cover telecom arm Jio; and New Energy business.
O2C reported the fifth consecutive quarter of sequential growth on demand recovery.
EBITDA at Rs 12,720 crore was up 4 per cent quarter-on-quarter and and 43.9 per cent year-on-year.
Jio Platforms - the digital arm - reported a 23.5 per cent higher net profit at Rs 3,728 crore as its per telecom user revenue rose to Rs 143.6 per month from Rs 138.4 in the previous quarter.
Reliance said it is working with Google to launch the low-priced smartphone JioPhone Next, to be available around Diwali.
With the increase in electronics, jewellery, and fashion sales, retail business crossed pre-Covid level.
Reliance Retail EBIDTA was up 45.2 per cent at Rs 2,913 crore as it opened 813 new stores during the quarter, taking the total count to 13,635 stores across 37.3 million square feet of retail space.
The fashion and lifestyle business delivered record performance with the highest ever quarterly revenues and over 2x growth YoY; consumer electronics, grocery businesses posted strong double-digit growth.
Reliance's oil and gas segment posted a 363 per cent YoY spurt in revenues to Rs 1,644 crore with segment EBITDA of Rs 1,071 crore.
This is on the back of the start of production from satellite cluster fields in the KG-D6 block, taking the overall production to 18 million standard cubic metres per day.
The firm's cash and cash equivalents at Rs 259,476 crore were higher than the outstanding debt of Rs 2,55,891 crore as of September 30, 2021, maintaining the net-debt-free position.
Reliance's capital expenditure (including exchange rate difference) for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, was Rs 39,350 crore.
Commenting on the results, Ambani, chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries Limited, said: "As the pandemic retreats, I am pleased that Reliance has posted a strong performance in Q2 FY22. This demonstrates the inherent strengths of our businesses and the robust recovery of the Indian and global economies."
Operational and financial performance reflects the sharp recovery in the retail segment and sustained growth in O2C and digital services business.
"Our O2C business benefited from the sharp recovery in demand across products and higher transportation fuel margins.
"Reliance Retail continues to grow on the back of rapid expansion of both physical stores and digital offerings resulting in healthy growth in revenues and margin expansion," he said adding Jio continues to transform the broadband market in India.
Ambani said Reliance continues to make steady progress in accelerating its foray into the new energy business, having announced back-to-back acquisitions.
"Our partnership approach and the desire to bring India to the forefront of the global transition to clean and the green transition is underscored by our recent investments in some of the best companies in the world in the solar and green energy space," he said.
"I am now even more confident of achieving our ambitious target of Net Carbon Zero by 2035."
Photograph: PTI Photo