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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 April, 2005, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Big profits for India's Reliance
Anil Ambani
Anil Ambani accused the board of conspiring against him
Indian industrial giant Reliance Industries has reported a 47% rise in annual net profit to more than 75bn rupees ($1.7bn; 900m).

The increase was fuelled by its core oil refining business.

But the announcement was marred by further signs of a family feud at the top of the company.

Anil Ambani, the younger of two brothers who head the conglomerate, has accused the Reliance board of conspiring to remove him.

Announcing the results for the 2003-2004 financial year, Reliance said it would pay a dividend of 7.5 rupees per share.

"Refinery margins were robust in all regions as end product price increases were much higher than the rise in crude oil prices," a company statement said.

The numbers are fantastic but the underlying sentiments are not
Rajesh Jain, Pranav Securities

Reliance shares rose by 1.7% on the Bombay Stock Exchange after the results were announced, but had fallen 1.5% by the close of trade following the comments by Anil Ambani.

"The numbers are fantastic but the underlying sentiments are not," Rajesh Jain of Pranav Securities told the BBC News website.

"Mr Anil Ambani has refused to sign the numbers, which means that the vice chairman and managing director of the company is dissenting. That was certainly not taken very well by the markets," he said.

Family fallout

Reliance was set up nearly 50 years ago to trade in polyester yarn by one of India's most famous industrialists, Dhirubhai Ambani.

Indian stock traders
Despite the good results, Reliance shares ended the day lower

But ever since his death in 2002, the company has witnessed a fierce rivalry between his two sons, a row that went public late last year after Anil Ambani was stripped of several powers.

On Wednesday, he alleged that directors in the company were forcing him out.

"It's the Reliance 11 versus Anil Ambani now," he told journalists, likening the boardroom battle to a cricket game.

"The important point is the issues were raised by me and they did not have discussions or debate with me," the AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

Last December, he had questioned Reliance's entry into the mobile phone business.

Reliance spans the oil, petrochemical and telecoms sectors.

It operates India's largest oil refinery and produces 12 million metric tons a year of petrochemicals.

It also owns 45% of Reliance Infocomm, India's biggest mobile phone company, and half of Reliance Energy.





SEE ALSO:
Reliance unit loses Anil Ambani
03 Jan 05 |  Business
Stock off-load eases Ambani feud
24 Dec 04 |  South Asia
Saga of India's tycoon brothers
01 Dec 04 |  South Asia
Reliance seeks to heal 'dispute'
30 Nov 04 |  Business


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