In its quarterly results, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced that the digital and new commerce divisions constituted 19% of Reliance Retail’s overall revenue during the second quarter (Q2) of the fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24).
During the preceding June quarter, these sectors comprised 18% of RIL’s retail division’s revenue.
In the second quarter (Q2) of the fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24), Reliance Retail’s revenue from operations increased by 19.5% year-on-year (YoY) to INR 68,937 Cr, and the net profit saw a YoY growth of 21% to INR 2,790 Cr.
Reliance Retail boasts a portfolio of brands that includes JioMart, AJIO, Netmeds, and Trends, offering a wide array of products from footwear to electronics, available through both online and offline retail channels.
The digital and new commerce segments demonstrated consistent expansion across various product categories, with strong operational performance. In particular, the new commerce division achieved ‘vigorous growth’ within the electronics category, driven by the sales of smartphones and premium televisions. Reliance Retail increased its network of electronics-selling merchants by 44% year-on-year (YoY).
In the same period, the e-commerce platform AJIO witnessed a 50% year-on-year (YoY) expansion in its product catalog, while the premium segment Ajio Luxe increased its offerings by 61%. Reliance Retail also announced that its online furniture branch, Urban Ladder, ventured into the business-to-business (B2B) sector through institutional sales during the review period.
A year after the November 2022 acquisition of Metro Cash & Carry, Reliance Retail is still in the process of integrating the wholesaler’s operations with its new commerce grocery vertical.
JioMart, the prized asset within RIL’s digital and new commerce portfolio, has reported a consistent growth trajectory, marked by a significant uptick in both traffic and average transaction values. RIL stated that JioMart also expanded its product offerings by threefold and its network of sellers by twofold in the past year.
“I am delighted to report that we have delivered yet another quarter of stellar performance and achieved an all-time high across financial metrics. The performance is a testament to our customer-centric approach that defines Reliance Retail and we look forward to serving our customers this festive season with renewed optimism and enthusiasm,” Isha Ambani, executive director of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, said.
The conglomerate’s media division maintained strong momentum, with streaming service JioCinema playing a significant role in this success. JioCinema’s growth was notably driven by its emphasis on sports, particularly cricket, as the company’s investments in sports programming resulted in a substantial increase in viewership on the streaming platform.
In its quarterly report, RIL also observed a decrease in the media division’s EBITDA due to substantial investments in sports and digital sectors. The company highlighted that these investments are essential in the short term to establish a compelling consumer offering within the media arm.
Following JioCinema’s successful acquisition of media rights for both domestic and international matches featuring the Indian cricket team, RIL reported that the broadcast of the India-Australia match garnered almost 9 crore viewers on JioCinema.
Acknowledging the growing shift in live sports consumption towards digital platforms, RIL stated that its media division intends to utilize Viacom18’s extensive content library to attract users seeking high-quality content and boost user engagement.
The conglomerate also reported that JioCinema’s advertising revenue experienced continued growth, primarily driven by its original digital content.
“JioCinema continued its journey of entertaining audiences with premium content like Bigg Boss OTT, Taali, Kaalkoot, and Khatron Ke Khiladi amongst others. Bigg Boss OTT became the most streamed entertainment property in India, watched by over 100 Mn viewers, generating 30 billion minutes of watch-time,” the company said.
This development coincides with reports suggesting that Reliance is currently engaged in discussions with Disney to potentially acquire Disney’s operations in India, which would include Disney+ Hotstar, as a means to enhance and expand JioCinema’s content offerings.
In the quarter ending September 2023, RIL’s consolidated profit after tax (PAT) surged by 29.7% year-on-year to INR 19,878 Cr. In a similar vein, Jio Platforms, the digital subsidiary, witnessed a 12% year-on-year increase in net profit, reaching INR 5,297 Cr in Q2 FY24.