PETRON CORP. reported a 3% increase in net income to P12.1 billion in nine months to September this year despite an industry-wide decline in fuel demand due to higher pump prices, the company said on Tuesday.
“Despite a challenging environment that brought pump prices to new highs and resulted in weaker demand, Petron continued to thrive and delivered above expectations,” said Petron Chairman Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr. in a statement.
Petron, the country’s largest oil refining and marketing company, said the “modest growth” during the nine-month period was backed by the robust showing of its Malaysian operations, sustained volume growth in the home country, and the contribution from its petrochemical business.
“We remain the undisputed industry leader and will continue to pursue our long-term strategies namely optimizing our regional refining assets, increasing our market share in the Philippines and Malaysia, and the roll-out of new products for our customers,” Petron President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said.
Petron said consolidated sales volumes in Malaysia and the Philippines reached record at a combined 81.4 million barrels over the period, nearly 1.2 million higher than last year.
The growth was supported by product offerings, namely Blaze 100 and Turbo Diesel Euro 5, substantial membership increase in its loyalty card program P-Miles, and the increase in its retail network now numbering 630 stations, it added.
Excluding international trading, total Philippine volumes increased by 1% to 47.2 million barrels in the three quarters of 2018 despite high local fuel prices.
Petron said its Bataan refinery continued to run at 95% capacity to support local sales and produce high-value petrochemicals. Petrochemical volumes rose by 3% while polypropylene sales jumped by 20%.
Combined revenues from the Philippine and Malaysian operations expanded by 34% to P419.9 billion from 2017’s P313.5 billion, reflecting higher international oil prices and the increase in volumes.
From December 2017 to September 2018, the bellwether Dubai crude increased by 25% to average at $77.25 per barrel. Operating income as of September increased by 1% to P22.3 billion.
Petron, which has a combined refining capacity of 268,000 barrels per day, produces a full range of fuels and petrochemicals. It operates about 40 terminals in the region and has more than 3,000 service stations where it sells gasoline and diesel.
On Tuesday, shares in the company rose 0.74% to close at P8.18 each. — Victor V. Saulon