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New Delhi, April 24 – For the first time, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has mentioned it plans to maintain Netdebt/EBITDA below 1, despite the upcoming investments, foreign brokerage Morgan Stanley said in a report.
The last two years of internal cash profits have funded the last two years of $30 billion in investments (ex-spectrum).
Management highlighted the weaker Re/USD and working capital led to higher net debt, the report said.
Net debt was flat QoQ to $13 billion with the capex run rate increasing to $5.4 billion for the Mar-23 quarter.
RIL invested $17 billion in capex — similar to last capex cycle peak. Foreign ownership in Mar-23 was near a 7-year low at 24 per cent, the report said.
Energy drove the F4Q23 EBITDA beat 5 per cent above consensus as chemical margins recovered, gas costs declined and refining margins bounced back. Store expansion was key to growth in retail and EBITDA was in-line.
Profit beat of 18 per cent was also driven by lower tax rate and net debt was flat QoQ.
RIL’s F4Q23 EBITDA grew 9 per cent QoQ (23 per cent YoY) and core profits rose 20 per cent QoQ /YoY. Overall earnings were 7 per cent above consensus estimates adjusting for the lower tax rate, which normalised due to a higher tax rate in the earlier part of F23.
Full year tax rate stood at 21.3 per cent, slightly higher as tax credits reduced, Morgan Stanley said.
Oil to chemicals saw good improvement in demand, especially on polyester, and retail saw increased footfall with the company guiding for strength in categories of grocery (up 66 per cent YoY) and fashion.
E-commerce sustained at 18 per cent of total sales. Upstream gas profitability remained stable and saw support from elevated domestic gas prices.
RIL guided for startup of new production from the current quarter, which should help raise earnings. Telecom showed steady operational performance and with 6.4mn net subscriber additions with EBITDA growth largely coming from home broadband penetration and tariff increases.