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India's Reliance Industries posts higher quarterly profit; tops estimates

MUMBAI, April 24 India's oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd on Monday posted a 12.8 percent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit and topped analysts' estimates, helped by higher margins in its core business.

Net profit on a standalone basis - which takes into account only the company's core refining, petrochemicals and oil and gas exploration businesses - rose to 81.51 billion rupees ($1.26 billion) for the three months to March 31 from 72.27 billion rupees a year earlier, Reliance, controlled by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, said in a statement.

Analysts on average had expected a standalone profit of 80.10 billion rupees, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Reliance said its gross refining margin, or profit earned on each barrel of crude processed - a key profitability gauge for a refiner - was $11.5 per barrel for the quarter, much higher than year ago levels.

($1 = 64.4400 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Rahul Bhatia; Editing by Euan Rocha)

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