PRYCE CORP. saw its after-tax income dropped in the first semester, pulled down by inventory losses from the slump in the prices of crude and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the second quarter caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

The company posted a 15.2% decrease in net income to P759.25 million from January to June.

“The big drop in global crude and LPG prices, which started in the middle of March, was reflected in our April and May operations thereby resulting in appreciable inventory losses,” the listed firm told the stock exchange, Monday.

“This is the main reason why the second-quarter financial results were weaker than the first quarter’s,” it added.

To recall, the company’s net income in the January-March period rose by 9.4% to P396.36 million, driven by its LPG sales.

Its lower first-half income came despite posting a 10.9% increase in total revenues to P5.9 billion.

The company sold 118,290 metric tons (MT) of LPG in the first six months of 2020, an increase of 15.6% compared to the same period a year ago. LPG and other related products accounted for 95% of the company’s total revenues.

The average LPG contract price in the period went down 13.2% to $415.58 per MT.

Pryce’s other business units generated combined revenue of P288.82 million, 9.9% lower than P320.55 million previously recorded, attributed to the sales decline in industrial gases and real estate products which were impacted by the pandemic.

Though it expected that the ongoing pandemic will “adversely” affect its quarterly financials, the company hopes that “this disrupting phenomenon will be resolved soon.”

The company primarily imports and distributes LPG through Pryce Gas, Inc. It is also engaged in the sale of industrial gases, real estate and generic drugs.

On Monday, shares in Pryce rose 1.67% to close at P4.25 each. — Adam J. Ang