Reliance Industries, the country's largest company by market capitalisation, has reported a 40.5 percent sequential growth in consolidated profit at Rs 14,894 crore for the quarter ended December 2020, driven by a revival in Oil-to-Chemical and retail segments, and a steady growth in digital services business. The oil-to-telecom conglomerate's profit in the previous quarter stood at Rs 10,602 crore.
The company said it had recorded highest ever quarterly consolidated profit before exceptional items at Rs 15,015 crore and EBITDA at Rs 26,094 crore. Consolidated revenue from operations for the quarter increased 6.7 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 1,23,997 crore, rising sharply from Rs 1,16,195 crore in the September quarter 2020, with strong sequential rebound across all businesses.
"At a time when the Indian economy is poised for a confident recovery, we at Reliance are humbled that we have been able to contribute to it with our Company's impressive performance in the third quarter of FY21. We have delivered strong operational results during the quarter with a robust revival in O2C and Retail segments, and a steady growth in our Digital Services business," Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director said.
Reliance Jio delivered strong performance in the quarter ended December 2020, with consolidated profit rising 15.5 percent sequentially to Rs 3,489 crore and revenue up 5.3 percent QoQ to Rs 19,475 crore. Average revenue per user (ARPU) during the quarter at Rs 151 per subscriber per month was ahead of street estimates which was pegged at Rs 149-150.
With robust gross subscriber addition at 25.1 million during the quarter, total customer base stood at 410.8 million as of December 2020, said the company. On the operating front, its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 6.4 percent QoQ to Rs 8,483 crore with margin expanding 46 bps QoQ to 43.6 percent.
Reliance Retail delivered a healthy performance with record profit delivery in an operating environment that continued to remain challenging with sporadic COVID related restrictions and local issues, the company said in its BSE filing.
Retail's EBITDA surged 53.9 percent sequentially to a record Rs 3,087 crore with margin expansion of 380 bps QoQ at 9.3 percent for the quarter ended December 2020, whereas revenue from operations declined 9.7 percent QoQ to Rs 33,018 crore for the quarter and value of sales and services for Q3FY21 decreased by 8 percent QoQ to Rs 37,845 crore.
"The underlying operating margin (excluding the impact of the investment income) stood at 7 percent, coming in ahead of last quarter and same time last year. This was led by near doubling of Fashion and Lifestyle earnings, continued benefits from cost management initiatives and a boost from higher investment income of Rs 775 crore," said Reliance.
With the Indian economy poised for a rapid recovery in 2021 after overcoming the COVID-19 constraints, Reliance Retail is confident of maintaining its industry leading and market beating performance.
In November, Reliance Retail Ventures, the subsidiary of RIL, completed fund-raising of Rs 47,265 crore by selling a 10.09 percent stake in the company.
Reliance's oil to chemicals (O2C) business, which has formally reorganised reporting segments to reflect new strategy and management matrix, clocked 10 percent sequential growth in revenue at Rs 83,838 crore for the quarter ended December 2020 on higher volumes mainly in transportation fuels, PTA and polyester supported by improved product realization across polymers, intermediates and polyester.
At operating level, the segment registered a 10.3 percent QoQ growth in EBITDA at Rs 9,756 crore on higher product sales and shifting of product placement from exports to domestic market, with flat margin at 11.6 percent compared to previous quarter.
On O2C basis, total throughput has increased from 16.8 MMT to 18.2 MMT on QoQ basis due to improved product demand in Q3 and scheduled shutdown taken in Q2.
"The reorganised structure in O2C business will facilitate holistic and agile decision making and enable us to pursue attractive new opportunities for growth, with strategic partnerships with the best and the biggest in this business globally. The O2C platform will increasingly move further downstream and become closer to customers," billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
In December, Reliance Industries and BP started production from the R Cluster, ultra-deep-water gas field in block KG D6 off the east coast of India. Both are developing three deepwater gas projects in block KG D6– R Cluster, Satellites Cluster and MJ–which together are expected to meet around 15 percent of India's gas demand by 2023.
Reliance shares hit a record high of Rs 2,368 in September and have since corrected 13 percent. During the quarter ended December 31, 2020, it was down 11 percent but rallied 32 percent in the calendar year.
Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.