Reliance Industries topples IOC to become India’s largest company


PTI, Dec 16, 2019, 4:44 PM IST

New Delhi: Boosted by its consumer-facing businesses like organized retail and telecom, Reliance Industries ended state-owned Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) 10-year reign as India’s largest company, topping the Fortune India 500 list.

With revenue of Rs 5.81 lakh crore in 2018-19, the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate also became the first privately-held and the only other company to become India’s largest corporation apart from IOC for the first time in 10 years, Fortune India said.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) was ranked third, same as in 2018. It was followed by State Bank of India, Tata Motors and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) — all with no changes in their ranking between 2018 and 2019.

The list does not take into account subsidiaries of companies and so ONGC’s ranking does not reflect those from its recently acquired Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) as well as ONGC Videsh Ltd.

Rajesh Exports climbed one position to be ranked 7th on the 2019 list and so did Tata Steel, Coal India, Tata Consultancy Services and Larsen & Toubro that were ranked 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, respectively.

ICICI Bank rose two positions to be ranked 12th, followed by Hindalco Industries and HDFC Bank. Vedanta Ltd slipped three positions to be ranked 18th on the 2019 list.

Fortune India said RIL posted a 41.5 percent rise in its revenue in the financial year 2018-19, which was 8.4 percent more than IOC, the second-largest company on the list.

RIL’s 2018-19 revenue stood at Rs 5.81 lakh crore, while IOC posted a growth of 26.6 percent in sales to Rs 5.36 lakh crore in the same year. RIL’s profit for 2018-19 was also more than double that of IOC, at Rs 39,588 crore.

“Over the past 10 years, the oil-to-retail conglomerate’s profit has been an average three times higher than that of IOC. The highest it touched compared to IOC was up to 4.8 times, in FY15 when RIL’s profit was Rs 23,566 crore and the public sector major’s stood at Rs 4,912 crore,” it said.

Overall, the revenue of the Fortune India 500 companies in the 2019 list grew 9.53 percent, while profit rose 11.8 percent.

A total of 57 companies dropped off the list for reasons including consolidation within the public sector banks, public sector undertakings, as well as the private sector.

This year, the total loss posted by the 500 companies also came down, with 65 companies posting a cumulative loss of Rs 1.67 lakh crore, compared to last year’s Rs 2 lakh crore racked up by 79 companies, Fortune India said.

Public and private sector banks faced diverse fortunes in 2019. As many as 14 of 22 public sector banks reported cumulative losses of Rs 74,253 crore. In contrast, just two private sector banks posted losses (IDFC First Bank, at Rs 1,907.9 crore; and Lakshmi Vilas Bank, at Rs 894.1 crore). The total profit of 24 private sector banks (including foreign banks and cooperative banks) was Rs 60,747 crore, a 6.16 percent increase over 2017-18.

Fortune India said the oil and gas sector (with eight companies) accounted for 22.3 percent of the total revenue of the 500 companies, followed by banking with 15.88 percent of the total.

The banking sector, with 48 companies, is also the biggest contributor by way of the number of companies on the list. Oil and gas, however, has the highest share of profit in the 500, at 23.44 percent.

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