Reliance Industries net drops 8.75 percent in third quarter

January 22nd, 2009 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 22 (IANS) Reliance Industries Ltd, India’s largest private company, Thursday reported a 8.75 percent drop in net profit for the quarter ended Dec 31, but managed to beat forecasts as analysts had expected a much steeper fall in the bottomline.The quarterly loss was the first for the company in three years.

The petrochemicals, refining and retail giant said its profits for October-December quarter stood at Rs.35.01 billion ($713 million), against Rs.38.37 billion for the like period of the previous year.

“This was the most challenging quarters for Reliance with volatility in prices and margins. Producers and consumers are coming to terms with slower global trade and economic outlook,” the company chairman Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.

“Reliance performed commendably during this environment with high operating rates. We also reached an important milestone in start-up of the Reliance Petroleum refinery,” he said, referring to the unit that has started production at Jamnagar in Gujarat.

The company’s results were announced after the closing bell at stock markets, where its scrip had closed up 1.21 percent at Rs.1,132.95 rupees on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The company said it was able to sustain its refinery margins on the back of efficient sourcing of oil, ability to produce globally accepted products and flexibility in its crude basket, among other issues.

Reliance said it hoped to start production of gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin, off the Andhra Pradesh coast, from the current quarter. Some 30-40 million cubic metres of natural gas a day is expected to be pumped during the first phase.

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