PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp. reported a third-quarter net income of P640.68 million, down 63.4% year-on-year, amid “depressed regional refining margins.”

Net sales during the July to September period reached P52.63 billion, lower by 8.9% compared with the level a year ago, the company’s quarterly report submitted to the stock exchange showed.

In the nine months to September, net income stood at P4.37 billion, lower by 39.2% from P7.2 billion a year earlier. Revenues were flat at P162.3 billion during the period, from P161.9 billion a year ago.

“We are very pleased with Pilipinas Shell’s business delivery for the third quarter in the face of industry challenges and depressed regional refining margins. We assure all our stakeholders that we remain committed to maintaining safe and efficient operations to meet our customer expectations on quality products and services and close the year strong,” said Pilipinas Shell President and Chief Executive Officer Cesar G. Romero.

As of September, the company reported a 4% increase in its retail and commercial sales volume or an increase of 160 million liters from a year ago through the support of its “integrated and highly efficient” supply chain network.

In the retail business, volumes grew by 1% compared with last year, and goes against the retail industry’s 1% volume decline as of the first half.

“Retail also maintained a high premium fuel penetration of 27%, despite higher excise taxes,” Pilipinas Shell said.

The company attributed the retail segment’s performance to Shell’s “high brand preference in the Philippines, coupled with quality fuel products and services backed by innovative marketing campaigns.”

During the period, the company opened 30 new stations across the country. As of end-September, Pilipinas Shell had 1,105 retail sites, of which 46 are solar-powered.

“Pilipinas Shell continues to develop its non-fuels retail segment as it enjoys double-digit growth year-on-year. The company opened 9 Select stores, 5 deli2go stores, and 23 Shell Helix Oil Change+ and Helix Service Centres,” the company said.

In the commercial segment, lubricants, bitumen, aviation and commercial fuels all posted an increase in volumes.

“Bitumen posted a strong volume growth of around 50%, as the company continues to support the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program and export products to international customers,” the company said.

Pilipinas Shell owns and operates the country’s sole bitumen production facility since 2018. Lubricants posted a volume growth of 7%.

Meanwhile, Pilipinas Shell said it had registered cost savings at its refinery, reaching more than P500 million through process efficiencies and other optimization initiatives.

“Not only did the company complete the planned maintenance shutdown of its refinery ahead of schedule, it also broke ground on two key projects,” it said.

The company said that its integrated hydrogen manufacturing facility, once completed, would enable the refinery to process more crude oil varieties into more quality fuels. It is also working on building an integrated energy system that will harness solar energy, natural gas and battery system. The system is expected to boost energy efficiency and stability in the refinery.

On Tuesday, shares in Pilipinas Shell slipped by 0.45% to P33.45 each. — V.V. Saulon