New Delhi– Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is working to complete the contours of a strategic partnership with Saudi Aramco, Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said in a letter to shareholders.

In the letter to shareholders in RIL’s annual report for 2019-20, Ambani said in the energy businesses, Reliance is working to complete the contours of a strategic partnership with Saudi Aramco.

“The partnership gives our refineries access to a wide portfolio of value-accretive crude grades and enhanced feedstock security for a higher oil-to-chemicals conversion,” he added.

In the fuel retail business, Reliance and BP formed a new JV to grow the retail service station network and aviation fuels business across India.

During FY 2019-20, Reliance executed the next phase of its growth journey, forging transformative partnerships across businesses, Ambani said.

“Recognising the pivotal role of Reliance Jio in India’s digital transformation, global technology giants Microsoft and Facebook have partnered with us,” he added.

With Facebook, the strategic focus of the partnership is India’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), farmers, small merchants and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the informal sector, Ambani said.

Additionally, the partnerships will empower people and enterprises seeking state-of-the-art digital services. “Marquee technology-focused investors have also endorsed our strategic direction with significant equity investments into Jio Platforms Ltd,” he added.

“Our Consumer businesses continue to establish new milestones every year, with Reliance Retail and Jio collectively having grown by 49.3 per cent y-o-y of the consolidated EBITDA. We delivered a robust performance in our Oil-to-Chemicals (O2C) business despite the weak global economic environment and volatility in energy markets,” he said.

Ambani announced that RIL’s consolidated EBITDA crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark, a first by an Indian company.

In a volatile environment, Reliance recorded consolidated net profit of Rs 44,324 crore ($5.9 billion) during the year, registering a growth of 11.3 per cent year on year (before exceptional items on account of Covid-19).

Ambani noted that the consumer businesses further strengthened their leadership positions and recorded robust growth on all operating and financial parameters during the year.

Both Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio continue to work towards providing superior products and services to Indian consumers. The strong financial performance also reflected the increasing contribution of consumer businesses in Reliance’s earnings. “Consumer businesses now account for 35 per cent of our consolidated segment EBITDA,” Ambani said.

Retail business continues to scale new heights, achieving important milestones during the year – achieving a turnover of Rs 1.62 lakh crore and a store count of 11,784. “We are witnessing incredible growth and strong traction across consumption baskets, on the back of unmatched service and value proposition,” Ambani added.

On the recent rights issue. Ambani said this was the largest Rights Issue in the last 10 years globally by a non-financial institution, and the largest ever in India. “Your Company thus created a new landmark in the history of India’s capital market,” he added.

On the Indian economy, Ambani said: “I have no doubt that the Indian economy will bounce back to follow a high-growth trajectory in the times to come.”

“We have recently raised over Rs 1.68 lakh crore through investments by global tech investors into Jio Platforms of Rs 1.15 lakh crore and the rights Issue of Rs 53,124 crore. The combined capital raised has no precedence globally in such a short time. Both of these are also unprecedented in Indian corporate history and have set new benchmarks. This is even more remarkable that this was achieved amidst a global lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Ambani said.

Along with the stake sale to BP in the petro-retail JV, the total fund raise is in excess of Rs 1.75 lakh. “Our net debt was Rs 1.61 lakh crore as on 31st March 2020. With these investments, RIL has now become net debt-free,” Ambani said.

RIL was the highest payer of customs and excise duty in the private sector with Rs 1.15 lakh crore contribution to the national exchequer this year.

Reliance is India’s largest and most profitable private sector company. Reliance continues to be a significant global player in the integrated energy value chain while establishing leadership positions in the retail and digital services business in India.

RIL is the first Indian company to cross Rs 10 trillion in market capitalisation and retains strong domestic and international credit rating. (IANS)