Reliance Industries (RIL) on Friday reported a 13.6 per cent fall in October-December net profit , the first drop in the company's quarterly profit in more than two years, as refining margins fell sharply and reservoir complexity pulled down gas output.
The Mukesh Ambani-led company's net profit declined by 13.6 per cent to Rs 4,440 crore, or Rs 13.6 a share, in the third quarter ending December 31 from Rs 5,136 crore a year earlier, the company said in a press statement.
The company's board has also approved spending of Rs 10,440 crore to buy back shares in an apparent attempt to prop up the company's share price, which has slumped 35 per cent in the past year.
RIL earned $6.80 on turning every barrel of crude oil into petroleum products (fuel) in Q3 FY12 compared to a $9 a barrel gross refining margin in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.
The refining margins were lower than the Singapore benchmark average of $7.3-7.4 per barrel, a phenomenon which the firm blamed on lower demand and weaker product cracks.
The company had earned $10.1 a barrel in the preceding July-September quarter.
Natural gas production from its showpiece KG-D6 fields off the Andhra coast fell by 23 per cent to 136 billion cubic feet per day (41.92 million cubic metres per day) in Q3 from 54.5 mmcmd a year ago.
- With inputs from agencies