The conglomerate said operations and revenue were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Consolidated net profit rose to Rs 14,894 crore from Rs 11,841 crore. Revenue fell 18.6% to Rs 1.38 lakh crore as sales from its oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business dropped almost 30%. The energy businesses account for 60% of the company’s top line, while Reliance Retail and Jio Platforms contributed 56% to the incremental operating profit in the quarter.
All of the company’s businesses reported an increase in revenue on a quarter-on-quarter basis as demand picked up.
Finance costs declined to Rs 4,326 crore in the quarter from Rs 5,404 crore in the year-ago period as the company repaid liabilities after raising capital in Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail through stake sales. Total expenses declined 22% from a year ago.
Chairman Mukesh Ambani said the company had delivered an 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,” he said.
The company said it will continue to identify and focus on new growth platforms.
“The outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic globally and in India is causing significant disturbance and slowdown of economic activity. The group’s operations and revenue during the period were impacted due to Covid-19,” RIL said in a statement.
The company reorganised its refinery and petrochemicals business as a part of its plan to get strategic partners in different businesses.
“Our focus would be on maximisation of profits from moving further to downstream chemicals and materials. The downstream integration would be asset-light through alliances and partnerships,” V Srikanth, joint chief financial officer, said in a virtual press briefing.
Digital business Jio Platforms delivered a strong performance with a net profit of Rs 3,489 crore, 15.5% higher than that for the September quarter.
Its telecom unit Reliance Jio Infocomm posted higher average revenue per user although net user additions slowed to 5.2 million, with a higher percentage of subscribers leaving the network due to what the company said were “recent malicious and motivated campaigns” against the group in some parts of the country.
Jio Platforms’ quarterly revenue rose 5.3% sequentially to Rs 19,475 crore. The business plays a key role in transforming RIL into a technology platform company from an oil-and-retail conglomerate.
Reliance Retail’s net profit jumped 88% to 1,830 crore sequentially while revenue fell 8% to Rs 37,845 crore, mainly due to the transfer of its petroleum retailing business to a separate Reliance-BP joint venture and lower sales at its supermarkets.
The company said its robust profits were led by a strong rebound in the fashion and lifestyle business, which surpassed pre-pandemic levels during the quarter. The segment doubled its earnings in those months.
RIL said its outstanding debt on December 31, 2020, was Rs 2.57 lakh crore, covered to a large extent by cash and cash equivalents of Rs 2.21 crore.
The company declared an impairment in its shale gas business due to the adverse market environment.