India’s Reliance posts 10 percent profit rise

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MUMBAI: Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries beat analyst estimates Monday to post a 10 percent rise in standalone net profits, boosted by improving margins from its core business of oil refining.

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The Mumbai-based firm owned by India’s wealthiest man, Mukesh Ambani, said standalone net profit for the three months through December 31 rose to 80.22 billion rupees ($1.18 billion) from 72.96 billion rupees a year earlier.

Revenues for the period were up nine percent to 666 billion rupees.

A Bloomberg survey of 11 analysts had projected the standalone net profit to come in at 78.4 billion rupees.

Reliance said in a statement that its gross refining margin, the profit earned from each barrel of crude, was up to $10.8 in the December quarter from $10.1 in the previous quarter.

Refining margins are a key profitability gauge for Reliance, one of the world’s largest refiners.

The company has delivered “record performances in challenging market conditions,” Ambani said in a statement.
Last month RIL’s new telecom venture Jio, which was launched with much fanfare in September, extended free services up to March 2017.

The company has poured more than $15 billion into the telecom venture on wireless spectrum and infrastructure and experts believe it will be a game changer for the group as it tries to diversify.’

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