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The private companies of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani saw a slowdown in growth in fiscal 2014, courtesy a slowing economy and fall in gas production.
Of Ambani's three main private operating companies, Reliance Gas & Transportation, the gas pipeline company, widened its loss to a record high of Rs 3,400 crore in fiscal 2014 from Rs 900 crore loss in FY2013, as gas production from RIL's Krishna Godavari basin fell over the years.
For 2013-14, Reliance Gas, which was set up by Ambani to transport gas from the eastern coast to the energy-starved western part of India, reported lower operating income of Rs 1,500 crore as compared to Rs 4,100 crore in FY2013, according to statistics submitted to the regulators. Apart from lower revenue, the loss in fiscal 2014 was mainly due to increased depreciation of Rs 3,100 crore.
An email sent to the Reliance Industries spokesperson did not elicit any response.
"This (loss by Reliance Gas) is not a cash loss. By reporting increased depreciation, Reliance Gas is doing something extremely valuable for its shareholders, as all these losses will be set off once the tide turns," said Phani Sekhar, fund manager, PMS, Angel Broking. "Indian pipeline companies, including GAIL, GSPL and Reliance Gas, have more capacity than supply.
We expect the present 50 per cent of capacity utilisation to remain the same for the next three years for the Indian gas pipeline companies," he said. The report card of Ambani's personal portfolio led by the main holding firm Reliance Industries Holding Pvt Ltd (RIHPL) - which holds stake in the power, port and pipeline companies - was saved from red ink mainly due to dividend income from Reliance Industries. RIHPL reported total operating income of Rs 5,700 crore and earned earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) of Rs 3,500 crore for 2013-14.
Reliance Utilities & Power, which supplies power to Jamnagar and Hazira plants of RIL, reported a profit of Rs 200 crore on revenues of Rs 1,100 crore for 2013-14 (July 1 to March 31). The company made a Rs 600-crore profit on revenues of Rs 1,400 crore in 2012-13 (July 1 to June 30). The numbers are not comparable as FY2014 was reduced to nine months to conform with other group companies' accounting year.
The third unlisted company of Ambani, Reliance Ports and Terminals, reported a net profit of Rs 4.1 crore and total income of Rs 2,700 crore for fiscal 2013-14. This was as against a net loss of Rs 3.9 crore on total operating income of Rs 3,900 crore for the previous year 2012-13 (July 1 to June 30). The port is used by RIL to import crude oil and export finished products from its Jamnagar refinery. The port is also planning to expand capacity to include coal terminals.
Ambani is doing his best to restructure his personal businesses. The restructuring, kicked off in 2013, involved a complex demerger scheme, under which Ambani had transferred holding in his pipeline, power and port companies to RIHPL after demerging the investment divisions of all the three companies. The investment divisions of these three companies were also transferred to RIHPL.
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