PETRON CORP. ended the first half with a consolidated net income of P6.14 billion, the oil company said on Tuesday without disclosing a comparative figure, but citing “rising financing charges due to successive interest rate hikes.”

“Our growth strategy is on course as we continue to work on vital programs at our refinery, terminals, and service stations that will ensure our stability, productivity, and sustainability as an oil company,” Ramon S. Ang, president and chief executive officer of Petron, told the stock exchange.

In the first half of 2022, the company reported a net income of P7.7 billion. It has yet to report financial figures for the second quarter of this year.

In the first semester of 2023, its consolidated revenues fell by 7.9% to P367.04 billion from P398.52 billion in the same period last year.

Despite the decline, its sales volume rose.

Petron registered a consolidated sales volume of 57.61 million barrels, 12.1% higher than the 51.41 million barrels sold in the same period last year.

“These results demonstrate our proven ability to secure our cash flow and maintain our financial resilience amid changing market conditions,” Mr. Ang said.

The company said that for its Philippine operations, sales volume went up by 16% to 34.93 million barrels, attributing the rise to the country’s strong demand recovery.

Petron said that it also recorded consistent increases across its business segments, which it said signifies sustained post-pandemic transition.

The company’s combined sales volume from its commercial business jumped by 13% in the first six months, while its combined retail sales from the Philippines and Malaysia expanded by 8% year on year.

Petron said the oil price correction, which started in the second half of 2022 due to price volatility brought on by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, continued in the first semester of this year.

“The benchmark Dubai crude hovered around the US$80-per barrel mark during the said period, declining by 22% from last year’s first-semester average,” Petron said.

The correction in commodity prices resulted in the decline of refining cracks, Petron said. Further, the company said it managed to register a steady consolidated operating net income of P16 billion in the first semester, driven by volume growth and its overall performance.

Meanwhile, Petron said that the ongoing construction of its coco methyl ester (CME) plant will yield better margins for diesel and fast-track the utilization of clean alternative fuel brands.

In April, Petron said that it had started the development of a CME plant, which when finished will allow the company to produce its own CME.

Petron is the operator of the 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 Tuesday, shares in the company shed six centavos or 1.62% to end at P3.64 each. — Ashley Erika O. Jose