India's Reliance Posts Profit Rise, Plans To Invest $9B

"We are taking what the government is saying very seriously that they will take a decision on gas pricing by Nov. 15," Agarwal said.

Reliance has been dogged by an inability to stop a decline in its domestic oil and gas output and by investor concerns about its earmarked investment of $11.7 billion into fourth-generation (4G) telecoms service, which has yet to be launched.

Looking At E-Commerce

Reliance reported stand-alone profit of 57.42 billion rupees, excluding its interests in retail and some smaller businesses, exceeding an average forecast of 56.34 billion from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue from its retail business, which posted its first annual profit in the previous fiscal year after six years of losses, rose 20 percent in the quarter from a year ago.

Reliance expects revenue from the retail business to grow by 25 to 30 percent annually and that e-commerce will be a part of its strategy going forward, Co-CFO V Srikanth said.

"There are some internal discussions that are happening ... E-commerce will clearly be a part of the retail strategy."

The company's upstream oil business posted its second straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth after three years of declines, boosted by a sharp 34 percent jump in revenue from its U.S. shale gas operations.


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