By Myrna M. Velasco
Attributing it chiefly to “low regional refining margin environment,” listed firm Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation has logged a downscaled income of ₱4.4 billion as of third quarter this year versus a stronger financial outcome of ₱7.2 billion in the same period in 2018.
The lower net income had been posted in spite of the 4.0-percent increase in its retail volume, as well as a stronger outcome in its sales to commercial segment of customers.
Cost efficiencies, according to the company, had still been reinforced on incremental volume hike of 160 million liters within the financial review period; as well as a more managed supply chain network.
The financial turnout in the first three quarters, the oil firm noted, already accounted for 86-percent of its reported earnings last year which was at P5.1 billion.
In the retail segment in particular, volume had grown by a very marginal 1.0-percent from last year – albeit it had retained high premium fuel penetration at the scale of 27-percent, despite higher excise taxes that consumers have also been shouldering in their fuel purchases.
On the commercial segment of the business, volume growth drivers had been customers in lubricants, bitumen, aviation and fuel demand of commercial establishments.
Pilipinas Shell President and CEO Cesar G. Romero qualified that the company’s performance in January to September this year was still at considerable comfort level given “industry challenges and depressed regional refining margins.”
Despite the downstream oil sector’s tight spots, the Shell chief executive had given his word that the company remains committed “to maintaining safe and efficient operations to meet our customer expectations on quality products and services.”
Onward, the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary which is the second biggest player in the Philippine oil industry, is giving indications that it still targets to “close the year strong.”
As of end-September this year, the company reported 30 new stations that it set into commercial operations – hence, beefing up its retail portfolio to 1,105 stations.
Of the total, it noted that 46 stations are solar-powered, which is basically aligned with Shell’s commitment to keep pace with more environmentally friendly sphere of operations.