India’s largest listed company,Reliance Industries,said its quarterly profit fell 8.8 per cent,its first drop in three years,but beat forecasts as refining margins did not fall as much as expected.
The petrochemical and refining giant reported a net profit of 35.01 billion rupees ($713 million) for its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31,compared with 38.37 billion rupees excluding one-off gains reported a year earlier.
A Reuters poll had forecast a net profit of 30.98 billion rupees.
The company is set to get an earnings boost when it starts pumping 30-40 million cubic metres of natural gas a day from its deep-sea fields off India’s east coast in the second half of February.
Ahead of the results,shares in Reliance,which has a market value of around $36 billion,closed up 1.21 per cent at 1,132.95 rupees in a Mumbai market that rose 0.4 per cent.
The stock fell 37 per cent in the December quarter,more than a 25 per cent drop in the benchmark index and 33 per cent loss in the sector index.