DENNIS A. Uy-led Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. said on Wednesday that local volume sales slid by 20% last year, with fourth-quarter sales cushioning the fall.

In a press release, Phoenix said that its domestic volume sales from October to December rebounded by 32% quarter on quarter, which “eased the firm’s full-year decline.”

Local sales of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) rose 32% year on year against industry contraction, with the Visayas and Mindanao businesses sustaining double-digit growth.

“The Luzon business is still coming off from a low base but continues to grow and expand its distribution network,” Phoenix said.

The company described domestic LPG as well-positioned to capture opportunities in underpenetrated retail and commercial markets, and change consumer behaviors post-pandemic.

Phoenix, which has operations in Singapore and Vietnam, also reported that its full-year overseas volume rose to more than double. It noted that overseas LPG volume sold through Phoenix Gas Vietnam almost tripled as the country was able to quickly recover from the pandemic.

Phoenix said that it closed with a P63-million net income for full-year 2020. The firm added that its net income in the fourth quarter stood at P158 million, reversing prior losses.

“It was a strong finish to a challenging year,” Phoenix President and Chief Executive Officer Henry Albert R. Fadullon was quoted as saying.

“For this year, while vaccine developments are encouraging, the resurgence of the virus and the new rounds of lockdown may continue to dampen overall consumer confidence and industrial and commercial activities,” he added.

Mr. Fadullon said that the firm plans to accelerate its growth by “sweating its existing assets” and keeping a sharp focus on cost discipline.

Last week, Phoenix said that it is looking to maximize the value of its non-core assets after its board gave the green light to unload certain assets to help manage the firm’s debts.

Shares of Phoenix Petroleum in the local bourse inched down 1.05% or 12 centavos to finish at P11.28 apiece on Wednesday. — Angelica Y. Yang