PETRON Corp. on Wednesday reported a net income of P3.6 billion in the first quarter, or more than double its P1.73-billion bottom line a year ago, as sales surged amid greater economic activity.

“Our efforts to increase our financial resilience, improve our efficiencies, and strengthen our brand equity have all yielded positive results. Two years into this pandemic, we now find ourselves in a position of renewed strength and confidence as we continue to navigate the industry with the same caution and prudence that helped us turn our financial performance around,” said Ramon S. Ang, Petron president and chief executive officer, in a media release.

The country’s largest oil refining and marketing company said first-quarter consolidated revenues jumped to P172.33 billion, or more than twice higher than year-ago’s P83.31 billion, as demand for its products recovered at a time when international prices were higher.

It said from January to March this year, Dubai crude averaged at $95.6 per barrel while due to geopolitical tension and supply concerns persisted with the continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Petron, which is also in the Malaysian market, recorded sales volumes of 25.67 million barrels during the quarter, up 34% year on year, because of higher demand and eased mobility restrictions. The figure represents consolidated sales volumes from the Philippines, Malaysia, and its trading unit in Singapore.

The listed company has a refining capacity of 268,000 barrels per day and produces a full range of fuels and petrochemicals.

Its local retail segment registered a 7% rise while its commercial volumes, which include sales of its jet fuels and lubricant products, expanded nearly 50% with “increased economic activity and gradual resumption of local and international travels.”

“The oil firm saw significant volume growth in all its products. Total domestic sales jumped by about 43%, reflecting the overall improvement in local demand,” Petron said.

Petrochemical volumes increased by around 30%, which it attributed to the increased demand for resin used for personal protective equipment, or PPE, and online deliveries.

“Fueled by the demand growth and higher prices of petrochemicals, Petron resumed operations of its polypropylene plant in January 2022 after a two-year shutdown,” the company said.

During the period, Petron said it also strengthened its reach and broadened its offerings ahead of future demand.

“The company opened more stations during the first quarter in major areas as part of its larger network expansion program. Since 2021, Petron has adopted a new modular and panelized construction system for some of its new builds, creating a more efficient and greener way to construct service stations,” it said.

This year, its new power plant will be completed, allowing the company to efficiently power its refinery in Bataan.

“This would make the country’s lone refinery not only capable of supplying 40% of the national fuel demand but also self-sufficient in terms of its power requirement,” it said.

Mr. Ang said the company’s recent initiatives “are meant to ensure the growth and sustainability of our business in the years to come.”

“For us, the challenge ahead is not just to keep growing in terms of size but also to make a more significant impact in addressing environmental issues and building a better world for the next generations. We know there is more to do, and we are fully committed to seeing this vision through,” he said.

Petron operates around 40 terminals in the region. It has around 2,800 service stations where it sells gasoline and diesel. Its network is complemented by its Treats convenience stores.

On Wednesday, shares in the company climbed by 29 centavos or 8.98% to close at P3.52 each. — VVS