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RIL’s Jio, Retail arm balance out slip in Mukesh Ambani’s refining, petrochem business

Prachi Gupta

Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries is riding high on the back of its telecom and retail arm even when the country is reeling under an economic slowdown. While the company's Refining and Petrochemicals business reported modest performance, the consumer-facing business led by Jio and Reliance Retail balanced out the slip and made for these businesses. "Increase in revenue is primarily on account of robust growth in Retail & Digital Services businesses which grew by 27% and 43%, respectively. This was partially offset by a decrease in Refining and Petrochemicals segment revenue with 17.7% fall in Brent crude price," Reliance Industries said on Friday, announcing its Q2FY20 results. 

Further, RIL posted over 18% rise in consolidated net profits which soared to a record high of Rs 11,262 crore for the quarter ending September. However, fueling this rise is Reliance's consumer-facing business — Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail. "Continuing growth trends in our retail business is heartening ... Reliance Retail delivered robust performance with record quarterly revenues and EBITDA," Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited said. RIL touched revenue of Rs 1,63,854 crore, witnessing a single-digit jump of 4.8%.

Beating the prevailing slowdown blues, Reliance Jio, RIL's three-year-old company, and Reliance Retail, which deals in various businesses from footwear, jewellery, clothing and apparel, have grown phenomenally, Reliance said. Reliance Retail particularly has registered a seven-fold increase in revenue in the last six years and is now preparing for an e-commerce play which is likely to rise heat on Walmart-backed Flipkart and Jeff Bezos' Amazon. On the other hand, Reliance Jio has grown to become the world's second-biggest telecom operator in terms of revenues and subscriber base, RIL chairman said previously. Jio now looks to bring another disruption with its ambitious JioFiber, its Fiber to the home service which will be available across 1,600 cities in India. Reliance kickstarted the service on the third-anniversary of Jio.