MUMBAI: Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) has reported a net loss of Rs 3,301 crore in the fourth quarter of 2018-19, its biggest ever, as the company undertook impairment and write-offs of over Rs 8,500 crore. The auditors have raised questions about the company’s ability to continue in business. RInfra set-off exceptional losses against Rs 6,616 crore from general reserves to reduce the net impact, without which the losses would have been higher. Total consolidated income in the March quarter was Rs 4,234 crore, against Rs 3,709 crore a year ago, the company said while announcing its results after 11:30 pm on Friday, after deferring its board meeting for the financial results twice.

The auditors said they do not have sufficient evidence to determine if the result gave a “true and fair” view of the losses and income. The auditors — BSR & Co LLP and Pathak HD & Associates — also said RInfra has investments and recoverable worth Rs 7,083 crore with entities that were doing engineering, procurement and construction jobs for the company. RInfra has also extended corporate guarantees during the year worth Rs 1,775 crore in favour of these entities. The auditor said they did not have sufficient and appropriate audit evidence about the relationship of these companies with RInfra, or the reason behind these transactions, and so they can’t assess the implication. The company also booked losses on its investments in Reliance Power, where it owns 33.1%, after huge impairments and write-offs in the March quarter. The exceptional loss on Reliance Power also included loss on sale of shares of Reliance Power pursuant to invocation of pledge of Rs 1,261 crore. The auditors said the depreciation method adopted by Reliance Power was not in line with accounting standards.

Given that the group, its associates and joint ventures incurred a net loss of Rs 2,426.82 crore during the year ended March 2019, and due to other factors, the auditors said there was “material uncertainty” that cast “significant doubt” on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.

RInfra said its standalone debt was down by nearly 70% to Rs 5,960 crore in March 2019 from Rs 19,143 crore in March 2018. “The company aims to be zero debt in the next financial year or earlier based on liquidity events,” it added.

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