RIL net jumps 17%; to buy Den, Hathway stake for Rs 5,230 cr

Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries on Wednesday reported its highest ever quarterly net profit for July-September as record earnings from the petrochemical business and bumper earnings from the retail business and telecom arm made up for a decline in refinery margins.

The company also announced an acquisition of majority stakes in Den Networks and Hathway Cable and Datacom for Rs 5,230 crore to bring under its fold 27,000 local cable operators who would help strengthen its rollout of fibre-based broadband service to households for offering ultra high definition entertainment on large screen TVs.

RIL’s consolidated net profit of Rs 9,516 crore, or Rs 16.1 per share, in the second quarter of the current fiscal, was 17.4 per cent higher than Rs 8,109 crore, or Rs 13.7 a share, reported for the year-ago period, the company said.

Its the retail business, which comprises 9,146 stores across 5,800-plus towns and cities, saw pre-tax business profit jump 213 per cent to Rs 1,392 crore on the back of more than doubling of revenues to Rs 32,436 crore.

Reliance Jio, the group’s telecom arm, posted a standalone net profit of Rs 681 crore, which was 11.3 per cent more than the previous quarter as subscriber base swelled to 252.3 million. It had a pre-tax loss of Rs 271 crore in the year-ago quarter.

The petrochemical business saw pre-tax profits jump by 63.7 per cent to Rs 8,120 crore after the company stabilised operations of a new refinery off-gas cracker and other downstream units.

The operator of world’s largest oil refining complex saw pre-tax earnings from the business decline for the second quarter in a row. It fell 19.6 per cent to Rs 5,322 crore as margins dipped. Gross refining margin fell to $9.5 a barrel from $12 per barrel.

RIL would also make open offers to minority shareholders of GTPL Hathway, a company jointly controlled by Hathway with 37.3 per cent stake, and Hathway Bhawani Cabletel and Datacom, a subsidiary of Hathway, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of RIL on Wednesday acquired 12.7% shareholding in SkyTran Inc, a US incorporated venture-funded company developing technologies for Personal Rapid Transit Systems.