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India's Reliance posts 8.8% rise in Q3 profit on oil refining business

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Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries on Thursday reported a 8.8 per cent rise in its third quarter consolidated net profit, boosted by growth in its core business of petrochemicals and oil refining.

[MUMBAI] Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries on Thursday reported a 8.8 per cent rise in its third quarter consolidated net profit, boosted by growth in its core business of petrochemicals and oil refining.

The Mumbai-based company owned by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani said its consolidated net profit for the three months through December rose to 102.50 billion rupees (S$1.94 billion) from 94.20 billion rupees reported a year earlier, even as its refining margins fell.

"In an oil price environment that witnessed heightened volatility through the quarter, RIL has delivered strong quarterly results on a consolidated basis," Reliance chief Ambani said in a statement.

Reliance said it maintained robust growth in its retail and telecom business which helped the company achieve overall profitability despite global fluctuations in crude oil prices.

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Revenues for the period were up 56.4 per cent to 1.60 trillion rupees.

Reliance said in a statement that its gross refining margin, the profit earned from each barrel of crude, was down to US$8.8 in the December quarter from US$11.6 in the previous year.

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

The firm has business interests in refining, retail, telecommunications and petrochemicals.

Meanwhile, RIL's telecom venture Jio reported robust growth by increasing its subscriber base by 27.9 million for the quarter.

Jio also reported a 65 per cent rise in its profits to 8.31 billion rupees, adding to the quarterly results.

Mr Ambani launched Reliance Jio with much fanfare in September 2016 offering free services up to March 2017, sparking intense price wars which saw consolidation in the Indian telecom sector.

Reliance shares fell almost half a per cent Thursday ahead of the earnings announcement, which came after the stock market closed.

AFP