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Focus on India – Reliance Industries profits up; Budget carrier Akasa opens bookings

RIYADH: India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. on Friday reported a 46.3% rise in profits in the June quarter as strong refining margins on the back of less Russian crude and fuel exports expensive backed its dominant petroleum-to-chemicals business.

The Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate said consolidated profit reached 179.55 billion rupees ($2.25 billion) in the three months to June 30, from 122.73 billion rupees a year earlier.

Reliance has become a major buyer of discount Russian crude after some Western buyers shunned it following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

The private refiner also boosted fuel exports in the quarter, particularly to European countries struggling with shortages due to sanctions against Russia.

“Geopolitical conflicts have caused major disruptions in energy markets and disrupted traditional trade flows. This, combined with the upsurge in demand, has resulted in tighter fuel markets and improved product margins,” said Mukesh Ambani, President and CEO of Reliance Industries.

Akasa, India‘s Newest Low-Cost Carrier, Opens Bookings

India’s newest budget airline Akasa Air, which is backed by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, opened ticket sales for its first commercial flights from August 7, the airline said in a statement on Friday.

Akasa’s initial network will include a total of 56 weekly flights between the western cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad and the southern cities of Bangalore and Kochi on its new Boeing 737 MAX jets, it said.

“Akasa Air’s network strategy is focused on establishing a strong pan-India presence and providing metro connections to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across the country,” said Praveen Iyer. , co-founder and commercial director of the airline.

Iyer said Akasa will expand its network gradually, connecting to more cities as it adds new planes each month.

Domino’s could divert its activities from Zomato and Swiggy

The Domino’s Pizza India franchise will consider pulling part of its business from popular SoftBank-backed food delivery apps Zomato and Swiggy if their commissions rise further, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The disclosure was made by Jubilant FoodWorks, which operates the Domino’s and Dunkin’ Donuts chain in India, in a confidential filing with the Competition Commission of India which is investigating alleged anti-competitive practices by Zomato and Swiggy.

Jubilant is India’s largest foodservice company, with over 1,600 branded restaurants, including 1,567 Domino’s and 28 Dunkin’s.

The CCI in April ordered its investigation into Zomato and Swiggy after a group of Indian restaurants alleged preferential treatment, exorbitant commissions and other anti-competitive practices. The food delivery apps deny any wrongdoing.

After the CCI demanded responses from the Domino’s India franchise and several other restaurants as part of its investigation, Jubilant asked for more time to share data relating to its online sales, but wrote to the watchdog to express concerns about the potentially higher commission of food ordering platforms.

“In the event of an increase in commission rates, Jubilant will consider moving more of its business from online catering platforms to the internal ordering system,” the company said in its July 19 letter to the ICC.

Jubilant FoodWorks declined to comment, while CCI and Swiggy did not respond.

(Contributed by Reuters)

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