New Delhi: Reliance Industries on Friday reported its first increase in net profit in five quarters -- a 15.8 percent rise to Rs 4,008 crore in the period ended December 31, as higher natural gas sales outweighed lower earnings from oil refining.
Net profit in October-December quarter at Rs 4,008 crore was up 15.77 percent over Rs 3,462 crore in the year-ago period, a company press statement said here.
Reliance earned USD 5.9 on processing every barrel of crude oil in the quarter, lower than USD 10 per barrel gross refining margin (GRM) in the corresponding period in the previous year.
The lower earnings on its main refining business was offset by more than trebling of revenue from its exploration and production (E&P) business to Rs 3,530 crore. Reliance sold between 55-60 million standard cubic meters per day of gas from its eastern offshore KG-D6 field during the quarter to topple state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) as the nation's largest gas seller.
Gas helped 92.7 percent rise in turnover in October-December to Rs 58,848 crore.
Revenue from refining and marketing business soared 142.9 percent to Rs 48,000 crore mainly because on account of merger of 5,80,000 barrels per day only-for-exports refinery of Reliance Petroleum Ltd. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) dropped 26.7 percent to Rs 1,379 crore.
Petrochemicals business saw 16.9 percent rise in revenue to Rs 14,756 crore.
For the nine months ended December 31, RIL's net profit dropped 1.33 percent to Rs 11,526 crore. The company's net turnover rose to Rs 1,34,891 crore at the end of December 2009, from Rs 1,15,765 crore in the year-ago period.
Shares of RIL gained over one per cent to Rs 1,070 on the BSE, despite a weak broader market.
Reliance, which has made a bid to acquire bankrupt petrochemicals firm LyondellBasell Industries, said it had outstanding debt of Rs 70,008 crore as on December 31, 2009 and cash reserve of Rs 15,959 crore.
Commenting on the results, Reliance Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D Ambani said: "I am delighted that both our key projects namely, the new SEZ refinery and KG D6 oil and gas development have ramped up successfully and safely. This reaffirms our belief in our ability to create truly world class assets in the integrated energy value chain. Reliance is well poised to benefit from the improving global economic environment and domestic markets opportunities."
Reliance said KG-D6 completed 275 days of 100 percent uptime and zero-incident production. Gas production has ramped up to 60 mmscmd in a short span of 9 months from commencement.
"All 18 wells of KG-D6 are ready for production and production from 16 wells has commenced. The design capacity of the KG D6 deepwater gas production facilities were assessed and achieved a flow rate of 80 mmscm," it said.
First Published: Friday, January 22, 2010, 14:19