New Delhi: Quarterly revenues at Reliance Retail, an arm of Reliance Industires, have crossed the 35,000 crore mark for the first time. They rose 10% quarter-on-quarter to touch 35,500 crore in three months through December. The double-digit growth came on the back of new store openings and the company’s push for higher margins. RIL announced its October-December earnings on Thursday.

The company added 780 stores during the quarter, translating into more than eight store openings daily. This meant an addition of 1.1 million square feet of space. As a result, footfalls at the company’s 26.6 million square feet of space came at 139 million during the quarter.

RIL’s consumer business, which includes telecom and retail operations, has now begun to contribute more than a quarter to the company’s business.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization improved 20% from the immediate previous quarter to 1,680 crore. EBITDA margin improved 40 basis points to 4.7%.

RIL posted a consolidated net profit of 10,251 crore for October-December, rising 7.7% from the September quarter. The company’s gross refining margins came in at a 15-year low of $8.8 per barrel, a shade better than what many analysts had predicted. Brokerage ICICI Securities had estimated the company’s GRM for the December quarter to come in at $8.7 a barrel, down from $9.5 a barrel in the September quarter.

Gross refining margin is the profit earned on each barrel of crude processed. RIL outperformed the benchmark Singapore complex margin by $4.5 per barrel. The benchmark GRMs have come down to multi-year lows in the third quarter to below $2 per barrel, as crude prices slumped to $50 a barrel from $85 a year ago.

RIL’s consolidated revenues from operations were 1,60,299 crore, a double digit growth of 10% from the immediate previous quarter. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization came in at 21,317 crore.

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