The numbers: Good. For the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries net profit for the fourth quarter rose 8.5% to Rs6,381 crore ($1.02 billion). This was mainly due to an improvement in its refining business margins—the lowest in eight quarters. The profit was much above the average analyst estimates compiled by a Reuters survey. For the 2015 fiscal year, Reliance posted a profit growth of 4.8%.
The takeaway: The firm, which operates the world’s biggest refining complex in Gujarat, posted a record-high operating profit for its refining segment. This segment contributes to more than 50% of the overall operating profit. Low crude prices and energy costs brought down the input costs for Reliance. Global crude oil prices have been on a downward trajectory during most part of the year and are still slipping.
At Rs15,827 crore, this is the highest ever annual operating profit from this segment for the firm. Additionally the company also posted the highest quarterly profit in the refining segment at Rs4,902 crore, an increase of 23.7% over the same period in the last fiscal.
What’s interesting: Chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said the 2015 fiscal was a successful year for Reliance. ”This year we also made giant strides in our quest to sustain Reliance’s growth momentum with the highest-ever capital investment into our hydrocarbon business and our next-generation digital services initiative,” he said in a statement.
The “next-generation digital initiative” is Ambani’s Reliance Jio—the company’s voice-plus-data mobile services—which is touted as the biggest competition for telecom service providers in the country.