Despite tepid performance in Q4, Reliance Industries Ltd. Plans to expand its petrochemicals businesses in anticipation that robust demand from the polymer sector will help offset weak global fuel sales. US$8 bln will be utilized to boost capacity and US$4 bln will be invested on a plant to make a combustible gas for powering its refineries and petrochemical. This outlay amount will be its highest since completing its second refinery in 2008 despite posting its biggest profit decline in three years.
RIL’s net income declined 21% to Rs 42.4 bln in the three months ended March 31, according to an April 20 regulatory filing. Pretax profit from petrochemicals fell 17% to Rs 21.7 bln, while earnings from refining dropped 32%. The two businesses accounted for 78% of the company’s pretax profit in this quarter.