By Myrna M. Velasco
Having logged colossal inventory losses of P10 billion, the net profitability of Petron Corporation had dipped 50% to P7.1 billion last year from a solid financial outcome of P14.18 billion in 2017.
Petron qualified though that had not been for the one-off item on inventory losses, its income last year should have gone as high as P17 billion or about 21-percent higher from year-ago level.
The country’s leading oil firm attributed the colossal income drop to “sustained decline in global crude prices” primarily in the last two months of 2018.
With the company’s comparatively dismal financial performance last year, Petron President Ramon S. Ang qualified that 2018 had been “a challenging year” for the company.
Nevertheless, he emphasized that the oil firm still “captured majority of the market and remained the largest and fastest growing oil company in the country,” thus casting the firm’s long-term fundamentals to have remained “attractive” and enables it to be “responsive to market conditions.”
Meanwhile, Petron’s level of operating income had also been lower by 32-percent last year to P18.9 billion from a relatively healthy balance of P27.6 billion the previous year.
On consolidated sales for both its Philippine and Malaysian operations, the oil firm posted P557.4 billion, which is roughly 24-percent higher from P434.6 billion in 2017.
The company registered strong sales in the gasoline sub-segment; jet-A1 fuel as well as in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); and that operational efficiency further boosted sales figures.
In particular, its refinery operations in Limay, Bataan clocked in annual utilization rate of 95-percent – the highest on record so far.
Last year was a banner production cycle and also a remarkable one on sales growth for Petron with petrochemicals posting 3.0-percent rise; and polypropylene sales had expanded 28-percent.