The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Reliance delivers Rs 1000-cr quarter

Mumbai, Oct. 31: India’s biggest private sector company dwarfed its peers again when it became the first to pile a quarterly net profit of Rs 1,000 crore or more.

At Rs 1,002 crore, Reliance Industries’ (RIL) bottomline was 25 per cent higher than Rs 801 crore same time last year, though numbers for 2001 did not include the performance of the now-merged Reliance Petroleum. Sales grew 10 per cent to Rs 16,206 crore from Rs 14,712 crore.

“We are delighted that Reliance has become the first Indian private-sector company to record a net profit of over Rs 1,000 crore in a quarter,” company chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders at the AGM.

First-half net profit also advanced 25 per cent to Rs 1,920 crore — a record six-month tally — from Rs 1,536 crore in the corresponding period of last year. Turnover was up 6 per cent, from Rs 29,987 crore to Rs 31,782 crore.

The numbers released today covered a period that saw the merger of Reliance Petroleum, whose refinery worked at 110 per cent of its installed capacity, processing 14.94 million tonnes of crude during April-September.

A stunning gas discovery and the impressive numbers sent the RIL share surging 7.2 per cent to a four-week high at Rs 266.70 on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The company’s market capitalisation swelled Rs 4,545 crore to Rs 37,241 crore as a whopping 5.46 crore shares changed hands on the NSE and BSE against 57 lakh on Wednesday.

Vice-chairman and managing director Anil Ambani said Reliance had done well at a time when the demand for its products had flagged and inputs turned dearer. “We are happy with Reliance’s strong financial performance in a period marked by a slowdown in global and domestic demand, and the continued firmness in the cost of our major feed-stocks.”

In the six months to September, several initiatives were launched that Anil said would pay off in the long run. Among them was the process of folding Reliance Petro into RIL, a task that involved an arduous accounting integration and a wide organisational recast.

Gas haul

The company confirmed reports, swirling over the past few days, that it recently stumbled on a gas bank in Andhra Pradesh’s Godavari basin, off the Kakinada coast.

Mukesh Ambani told shareholders at the AGM today that this was the biggest gas discovery in close to three decades, and the largest the world has seen this year.

“The in-place volume of natural gas is over seven trillion cubic feet or 1.2 billion barrels or 165 million tonnes of crude oil. Reliance continues to explore this block and expects to see further gains,” the RIL chief said.

The recoverable reserves are about five trillion cubic feet. Once harnessed, this will increase gas availability for consumers by almost 60 per cent.

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