Petron profit plunges

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PETRON CORP. on Tuesday reported a 50% fall in its net income in 2018 to P7.1 billion after a “sustained decline” in world crude prices that resulted in inventory losses of P10 billion in November and December last year.

“It was a challenging year, yet we captured majority of the market and remained the largest and fastest growing oil company in the country. While our long-term fundamentals remain attractive, we will continue to be prepared and responsive to market conditions,” said Petron President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang in a statement.

Last year, operating income fell 32% to P18.9 billion from P27.6 billion in 2017, Profits would have been higher by 21% at P17 billion if the one-time item is excluded, the company said.

Consolidated sales reached P557.4 billion, higher by 28% than the P434.6 billion posted in 2017. Petron managed to post combined sales volume of 108.5 million barrels, slightly up from the 107.8 million barrels sold the earlier year.

Petron said the strong local sales of gasoline, Jet-A1 and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), along with improved operating efficiency, contributed to the increase. It said the company kept its lead in retail, industrial and LPG trading as it cornered majority of the market.

The company said its oil refinery in Bataan, which is a 180,000-barrel-per-day facility, achieved a record 95% annual utilization rate as it further raised its production of high-value fuels and petrochemicals.

Petrochemical and polypropylene sales grew by 3% and 28%, respectively, as against the levels in 2017. This drove the rise in export volume, which exceeded the previous year’s record by more than 7%, the company said.

In Malaysia, Petron’s domestic maintained good results, it said without disclosing numbers.

Petron is the country’s largest refiner and provides close to 40% of local fuel requirements through its Bataan refinery, 30 terminals, and at least 2,400 service stations nationwide. — Victor V. Saulon