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Reliance communication advertismentReuters

India's oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries reported on Friday a better-than-expected 18 percent increase in first-quarter profit on higher margins from its core refining business.

Consolidated net profit rose to Rs. 71.13 billion ($1.1 billion) for the three months to June 30 from Rs. 60.24 billion a year earlier, Reliance, led by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, said in a statement.

Analysts on average had expected a net profit of Rs. 65.15 billion, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The gross refining margin on each barrel of crude processed -- a key profitability gauge -- was $11.5 in the June quarter, compared to $10.4 a year earlier.