April 27, 2018 / 1:38 PM / a month ago

Reliance Industries' Jio makes profit for second quarter in a row

(Reuters) - Indian oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd said on Friday its telecoms business Jio reported its second straight quarterly net profit since its launch nearly two years ago, as its cut-price plans continue to attract subscribers.

FILE PHOTO: A woman checks her mobile phone as she walks past a mobile store of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, India, July 11, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File photo

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd triggered a fierce price war among operators as they slashed prices to rival Jio’s low-cost data plans, which has driven down margins and forced consolidation in India’s telecom industry.

Jio made a profit of 5.10 billion rupees ($76.43 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of 5.04 billion rupees in the previous quarter.

Profit on a standalone basis - which comprises Reliance’s refining, petrochemicals and oil and gas exploration businesses - rose 6.7 percent to a record 86.97 billion rupees in the quarter, slightly ahead of analysts’ estimate of 86.88 billion rupees, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Reliance, India’s second-biggest company by market value and controlled by the country’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, said its standalone revenue from operations rose about 17 percent to 872.27 billion rupees.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an advertisement of Reliance Industries Limited at a construction site in Mumbai, India, May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

Gross refining margin, or profit earned on each barrel of crude processed, was $11 per barrel for the quarter, outperforming the benchmark Singapore complex margins by $4 per barrel. Reliance operates the world’s largest oil refinery in a single location in western India.

Profit on a consolidated basis, which also includes Reliance Industries’ U.S. shale gas, retail, telecom and other operations, came in at 94.35 billion rupees, its highest ever.

Its shares hit an all-time high ahead of the results, before closing 2.2 percent higher while the broader Indian market closed up 0.7 percent. The company has a market value of about $95 billion.

($1 = 66.7250 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman

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