India's Reliance Sept-quarter profit up 1.5 pct, meets estimates

MUMBAI Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:45am EDT

MUMBAI Oct 14 (Reuters) - Indian energy conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd met analyst estimates by posting a 1.5 percent rise in September-quarter net profit, fuelled by higher refining and petrochemicals sales and a weaker rupee, which helped cushion the impact of slimmer margins in its oil refining business.

Reliance, which in western India operates the world's biggest refining complex, said net profit was 54.9 billion rupees ($898 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with 54.09 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier.

The mean earnings estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters was for 54.9 billion rupees.

Reliance, controlled by India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, posted an average gross refining margin of $7.7 per barrel for the quarter, down from $9.5 a year earlier.

Reliance's growth is tied to its offshore Krishna Godavari D6 field, which the government expects to supply a significant portion of the country's gas.

The government may appoint an international expert to investigate a decline in output from the field, the oil secretary said last month. The decline, since April 2010, has led to supply cuts for electricity generation and other sectors.

($1 = 61.1350 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in MUMBAI; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Tony Munroe)

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