Reliance Ind Q4 net climbs 62 pc Scrip falls as Ambani dispute 'worsens'

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Our Bureau

Mumbai, April 27

RELIANCE Industries Ltd on Wednesday reported a 62-per cent increase in net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 2005, on the back of higher oil refining and petrochemicals margins.

Net profit climbed to Rs 2,292 crore, or Rs 16.4 a share, against Rs 1,419 crore, or Rs 10 a share, a year ago. During the period, net turnover rose 26 per cent to Rs 17,839 crore from Rs 14,108 crore.

Increase in sales reflected the impact of a 24-per cent increase in product selling prices and a 6-per cent increase in sales volumes, the company said in a statement.

RIL declared a dividend of Rs 7.5 a share as against Rs 5.25 last year.

The higher profits, however, could not prevent the stock from falling 1.48 per cent on the BSE to Rs 539.10 a share compared to the previous close of Rs 547.20.

The stock fell on the back of reports that the ownership dispute between the Chairman, Mr Mukesh Ambani, and the Vice-Chairman, Mr Anil Ambani, had worsened. According to Mr Anil Ambani, he did not sign the accounts at the board meeting on Wednesday. Analysts said foreign institutional investors were seen selling their holdings in the company following news that the dispute had taken a turn for the worse.

The company reported total expenses of Rs 14,293 crore (Rs 11,462 crore), most of the increase coming from higher raw material costs. Interest payments went up to Rs 362 crore (Rs 349 crore), and depreciation was Rs 981 crore (Rs 968 crore).

For the financial year ended March 2005, RIL reported a net profit of Rs 7,572 crore, 47 per cent higher than Rs 5,160 crore last year. Its annual turnover increased to Rs 66,051 crore (Rs 51,802 crore).

Annual exports, including deemed exports, were up 71 per cent to Rs 25,532 crore from Rs 14,969 crore in 2003-04.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 28, 2005)
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