Reliance Industries Ltd Q2 result 2014

India’s Reliance Industries Ltd reported 1.7 percent increase in second-quarter net profit on Monday, helped by strong growth in its U.S. shale gas business and higher oil refining margins.

The company, controlled by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has been focusing on profitability in its refining and petrochemicals business.

Its gross refining margins – or profit from each barrel of crude oil refined – were $8.3 per barrel in the September quarter versus $7.7 per barrel year ago, Reliance said in a statement.

The operator of the world’s biggest refining complex said profit rose 1.7 percent to 59.72 billion rupees ($979.1 million) in July-September, up from 58.73 billion rupees.

Standalone profit was 57.42 billion rupees, compared with the 56.34 billion rupees average estimate from analysts polled by Thomson

“Renewed optimism in the domestic economy augurs well for business and consumer confidence particularly against the backdrop of continuing concerns on global economic growth,” Chairman Ambani said in a statement.

“We expect to create significant value for our stakeholders over the next 12-18 months as we complete our large investment programme across energy and consumer businesses,” he said.

Shares of India’s third-largest company by market value fell 0.3 percent ahead of the results versus a 0.33 percent gain in the benchmark index. The stock is up about 6 percent this year compared with the benchmark’s 23 percent rise.

Reliance has been dogged by an inability to stop a decline in its domestic oil and gas output, and by investor concerns about its fourth-generation (4G) telecommunications initiative that is an investment of $11.7 billion but has yet to be launched.

In June, Ambani told shareholders that Reliance was planning an investment of 700 billion rupees ($11.7 billion) in the telecoms business, Reliance Jio, and would launch services in phases across India in 2015

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