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Reliance Q3 net up 27 p.c. at Rs. 1,374 cr.

By Our Staff Correspondent

MUMBAI, JAN. 29. Reliance Industries Ltd. has announced a net profit of Rs. 1,374 crores in the quarter ended December 31, 2003 against Rs. 1,083 crores in the same period last year. The gross turnover was at Rs. 18,864 crores (Rs. 15,600 crores).

The company provided Rs. 386 crores (Rs. 401 crores) for interest, Rs. 801 crores (Rs. 657 crores) for depreciation, Rs. 90 crores (Rs. 58 crores) for current tax and Rs. 160 crores (Rs. 213 crores) for deferred tax.

For the nine months ended December 2003, RIL announced a net profit of Rs. 3,741 crores against Rs. 3,003 crores for the corresponding period of the previous year.

The gross turnover was at Rs. 54,066 crores (Rs. 47,382 crores).

The operating profit was at Rs. 7,999 crores (Rs. 7,022 crores), an increase of 14 per cent. Exports for the nine months were at Rs. 10,755 crores (Rs. 7,954 crores), up 35 per cent.

Reliance's production of oil and gas and petrochemicals, including toll conversion, was 9.2 million tonnes in the first nine months. The company's refinery operated at 107 per cent capacity and processes 21.8 million tonnes of crude during the nine months.

Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL said, "With continuing indications of an upturn in the petrochemicals cycle, we are confident of achieving superior performance in the years ahead.''

Reliance's oil and gas business now contributes less than one per cent of RIL's gross turnover.

The company expects the share of oil and gas revenues in its overall business portfolio to increase significantly in the next three to four years when production from the newly discovered gas fields is likely to commence.

The overall demand for petroleum products for the nine months ended December 2003 remained flat but increased by 5.9 per cent in November and a further 3.4 per cent in December over the corresponding period of the previous year.

The consumption of high speed diesel, which accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the total petroleum product consumption, jumped by over 10 per cent and 3.8 per cent in November and December.

The higher growth rate of HSD has been attributed mainly to increased consumption in the agriculture sector after a good monsoon and buoyant industrial activity.

Mr. Ambani said the upcycle in the petrochemicals industry was now around the corner.

"In West Asia, there are no new complexes coming up in 2004 and this looks like the beginning of an upcycle. The prices are almost at 50 per cent of the peaks during the 1995-96 levels.''

Speaking on Reliance Infocomm, Mr. Anil D. Ambani said the company had 6.6 million subscribers to date and was looking at having 7-8 million subscribers by the end of the current financial year.

"The pre-paid product will be launched shortly and the fixed wireline services during 2004,'' he said, adding that to date, Reliance had invested Rs. 8,500 crores in the infocomm venture.

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