Upbeat on Retail, Telecom
The segment’s EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) margin rose to13.3% from 8.7% a year earlier, in sharp contrast to the oil and gas exploration business where low prices and falling output led to the margin narrowing to 0.9% from 19.5%. Chairman Mukesh Ambani said the downstream hydrocarbon businesses saw a year of “outstanding achievement”. He was also upbeat about the performance of the retail and telecom businesses. “Looking ahead, we are focussed on ensuring a flawless start up and stabilisation of the new growth platforms across our hydrocarbon and consumer businesses. The commercial rollout of our Jio (broadband) services this year will digitally enable a billion Indians and propel growth for India and Reliance,” he said.
The company spent .₹ 112,995 crore on capital expenditure in the year ended March while its debt increased to .₹ 181,079 crore from .₹ 160,860 crore at the end of 2014-15. “Our capex plans are moving as scheduled and the full impact of investment on Reliance Jio and expansion of refinery and petrochemical business will be seen in 2016-17,” Joint CFO V Srikanth told reporters.
For 2016-17, Reliance earmarked $9 billion on capex, which would include $3.5 billion on refinery and petrochemical expansion and $4.5 billion on Reliance Jio. The company didn’t commit on the launch date for the Reliance Jio broadband services.
The company’s organised retail business posted a 4.3% sequential decline in revenue in the fourth quarter, but grew 21% year-on-year.