UPDATE 1-Reliance Industries' telecom start-up Jio turns profitable

* Reliance Ind Q3 standalone profit up 5.4 pct

* Reliance Ind Q3 standalone profit beats forecasts

* Q3 gross refining margin $11.6 per barrel (Adds more details on results, background)

Jan 19 (Reuters) - Reliance Industries Ltd, India's largest listed company by market value, said on Friday that its $30 billion telecom start-up Jio has turned profitable less than a year and a half since its launch.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, or Jio, swung to a profit of 5.04 billion rupees ($78.97 million) in the third quarter from a loss of 2.71 billion in the second quarter.

Jio, launched late in 2016, sparked a price war in India's cut-throat telecoms sector, driving down margins and forcing consolidation. Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone India Ltd, two of the top three telecom companies in India, have agreed to merge. Bharti Airtel, India's biggest telecom service provider, has reported falling profits for six straight quarters.

Reliance Industries' profit on a standalone basis, which includes the company's refining, petrochemicals and oil and gas exploration businesses, but primarily excludes retail and telecom operations, stood at 84.54 billion rupees in the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from 80.22 billion a year earlier. http://bit.ly/2rlAAnt

Analysts on average had expected a standalone profit of 83.94 billion rupees, Thomson Reuters Eikon data showed.

Gross refining margin, the profit earned on each barrel of crude processed, was $11.6 per barrel for the quarter, outperforming the benchmark Singapore complex margins by $4.4 per barrel.

On a consolidated basis, which also includes Reliance Industries' U.S. shale gas, retail, telecom and other operations, profit came in at 94.23 billion rupees, the company said in a statement on Friday. (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)