Shares of Reliance Industries NSE -5.09 % (RIL) cracked over 4 percent in Monday’s early trade after the company on Friday posted a 15 percent year-on-year (YoY) fall in the second-quarter net profit as the pandemic hit sales of most of its products.

The scrip traded 4.31 percent down at Rs 1,965.75 at around 9.45 am (IST), while the benchmark BSE Sensex traded 0.38 percent lower at 39,462

However, the company said the demand has recovered in its oil-to-chemicals and retail businesses.

Consolidated net profit attributable to owners slipped to Rs 9,567 crore in July-September compared with Rs 11,262 crore a year back

A plunge in fuel demand after the raging pandemic forced people to stay home and stifled the economy, dealing a body blow to the firm’s traditional cash cow oil refining and petrochemicals, even as consumer-facing businesses, which account for 35 percent of the oil-to-telecom-to-retail conglomerate's revenues, continued to do well.

Revenue from the petrochemicals segment declined 23 percent to Rs 29,665 crore and pre-tax profit dropped 33 percent at Rs 5,964 crore. 

The firm’s twin refineries earned $5.7 per barrel on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel, as compared to a gross refining margin (GRM) of $9.4 per barrel last year.

Its digital services, which include the telecom arm Jio, saw standalone net profit swell to Rs 2,844 crore from Rs 990 crore in Q2FY20.

Commenting on Q2 results, Chairman Mukesh Ambani said the company delivered a strong performance compared to the previous quarter with recovery in petrochemicals and the retail venture along with sustained growth in the digital services business. He said various businesses were returning to normal.

“Domestic demand has sharply recovered across our O2C business and is now near the pre-Covid level for most products. Retail business activity has normalized with strong growth in key consumption baskets as lockdowns ease across the country. We continue to pursue growth initiatives in each of our businesses with a focus on the India opportunity,” he said in a statement.