The long-term issuer credit rating has been affirmed at BBB+. The issue rating on the company’s senior unsecured debt has also been affirmed.
The ratings come with a stable outlook, which reflects a view that RIL‘s cash flows will help preserve its financial profile, despite elevated investments over the next 24 months.
The ratings agency believes earnings growth from digital and retail segments will temper the softness in O2C business, which is the mainstay for the company.
“Earnings in the digital services segment will benefit from increasing data demand and resultant upgrades to higher-priced telecom plans. Meanwhile, new store openings and proliferation of e-commerce will support the retail business,” S&P Global said.
The O2C business is likely to maintain more stable and superior margins relative to peers, withstanding a likely weakening in refining margins in Asia amid an economic slowdown and a high base.
Despite sizable investment plans and an expected investment of Rs 1.1-1.2 trillion over the next couple of years, S&P Global expects the leverage to be at a level commensurate with the current rating.”Resilient earnings, and our view that RIL is committed to keeping its balance sheet in check will support leverage. We estimate the company’s adjusted debt-to-EBITDA ratio will be 1.8x-2.0x over the next two years, compared with 1.9x in fiscal 2023 and our downgrade trigger of 2.5x,” it said.
The company’s strategy to diversify and dominate its related industries has pushed up its investment spending. We expect this momentum to continue, with annual capital investments of Rs 1.1 trillion– Rs 1.2 trillion over the next two years.
On Thursday, RIL shares were trading 0.12% lower at Rs 2,467 on the NSE. So far this year, the stock is down about 4%, underperforming the benchmark.