PETRON Corp. reported a 9.8% increase in consolidated net income to P6.7 billion in 2022 from P6.1 billion in the previous year largely due to higher fuel demand.

“We’ve been consistent in our recovery, with our profits already at pre-pandemic levels over the past two years. We continue to note an increased and growing demand for our products even as we contend with pricing challenges, heavy competition, and the lingering effects of the pandemic,” Petron President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

The oil company said that despite the volatility in the market, it was able to maintain a steady sales volume from its local and international operations.

Petron said its Philippine sales volume in 2022 stood at 68.53 million barrels, 43.1% higher than the 47.9 million barrels sold in 2021; while the company saw its international sales volume increase by 37.2% to 112.81 million barrels from 82.24 million barrels.

Petron said its service station volumes in the Philippines and Malaysia increased by 26% as gasoline and diesel products remained in demand.

Commercial sales also increased by 30% driven by sales of jet fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, and polypropylene products as the production of polypropylene resumed last year.

Crude prices continued to decline in the second semester of 2022 as the global inflation rate spiked and amid fears of recession. The price of Dubai crude dropped by 31.9% to $77 per barrel in December from $113 per barrel in June, Petron said.

Petron’s operating income rose by 11.6% to P19.21 billion from P17.21 billion, which the company attributed to the optimization of its refining assets.

“With our full recovery within our reach, we’ve returned our focus on growing the business and beefing up our operational framework to ensure our continued success and sustainability,” Mr. Ang said.

In a separate disclosure on Monday, Petron said its board of directors approved the declaration of cash dividends of 10 centavos per share for common shareholders with a record date of March 20, 2023, and a payment date of April 4, 2023.

Petron is the operator of the only refinery in the country that provides 40% of local petroleum requirements. Its refinery in Bataan produces 180,000 barrels per day.

At the local bourse on Monday, shares in the company gained 36 centavos or 13.64% to end at P3 apiece. — Ashley Erika O. Jose