RIL’s strong balance sheet, high liquidity to boost Jio, Retail, O2C: Mukesh Ambani

The Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani, has said that the strong balance sheet and high liquidity available with the oil-to-telecom giant will support its growth plans for Jio, Reliance Retail and its oil-to-chemical (O2C) business.

His statement in RIL’s annual report for FY20-21 noted that strong operating cash flow and the largest ever capital raise have further strengthened its balance sheet, enabling the company to deleverage and meet its net-debt zero commitment ahead of stated timeline.

“We now have a strong balance-sheet with high liquidity that will support growth plans for our three hyper-growth engines – Jio, Retail and O2C,” Ambani said.

During the year, Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail raised over Rs 1.52 lakh crore and Rs 47,265 crore respectively from strategic and financial investors, including Facebook and Google. Energy giant bp invested Rs 7,629 crore for a 49 per cent stake in RIL’s fuel retailing business.

He also noted that RIL successfully completed India’s largest ever rights issue of Rs 53,124 crore (oversubscribed by 1.59 times), which is also the largest in the world by a non-financial institution in the last 10 years.

Ambani also told the shareholders that during the year, RIL made pre-payment of $7.8 billion of long-term foreign currency debt, with requisite approvals from the RBI. This is the highest ever pre-payment of debt undertaken by any corporate borrower in India.

“Our consumer businesses retained their leadership positions and recorded robust growth on all operating and financial parameters during the year in spite of challenging hurdles. They now constitute nearly 50 per cent of consolidated segment EBITDA compared to 36 per cent in FY 2019-20,” he said.

Noting that the world is now closing ranks for a strong global action on climate change, Ambani said: “This gives Reliance the right opportunity to accelerate our own ambitious New Energy and New Materials business wedded to the vision of clean and green development.”

In his statement to the shareholders, the CMD outlined the efforts and contribution of the company towards the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

He also said that Reliance has put in place a liberal leave policy for employees affected by Covid-19. It is providing financial assistance of up to three months’ pay as interest-free salary advance in case of an exigency. In case of unfortunate demise of an employee, Reliance is providing financial support to the family and committing to shoulder the educational expenses of the children.

“While the war against Covid is far from over, we, the Reliance Family, are confident that in the end we will prevail. We care for each one of our stakeholders including employees, shareholders, vendors, customers and local communities,” Ambani said.