Pilipinas Shell returns to profitability with P1-B income in Q1

Published May 14, 2021, 12:56 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Major oil firm Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation is back on financial rally posting P1-billion net income lin the first quarter, effectively snuffing out the substantial P5.5- billion loss in the same period last year.

The company said its return to profitability had been propelled by “new supply chain strategy, higher premium penetration across all segments and continued cash conservation measures.”

Pilipinas Shell further highlighted that cash flow from its operations – excluding movement in working capital – currently hovers at P3.9 billion; while its overall borrowings had been sustained at “manageable level.”

According to Pilipinas Shell President and CEO Cesar G. Romero, “our first quarter performance indicates that we are taking the right steps to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Taking off from that perked up financial outcome within January-March this year, the company chief executive asserted that “we will persevere and implement our bounce back plans sharply in a safe and reliable manner.”

He further noted “we are now seeing the positive results of the tough decisions we made that ensured our financial resiliency and competitiveness brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The oil firm executive primarily made reference to the company’s “difficult decision to transform our refinery into world-class import facility,” which then enabled Pilipinas Shell to avoid significant losses that drove its top and bottom lines to breaking points last year.

What remains as a work-in-progress though, although this is beyond the control of the company or any player in the oil sector, is the lingering demand downturn in fuel commodities.

Romero pointed out “we have yet to see fuel demand to go back to pre-pandemic levels.” Even with that predicament though, he emphasized that “with our refocused and reset strategy, we are well-positioned to meet the country’s energy requirement as the economy recovers from the pandemic.”

At this stage, the company stated that “volume delivery remains below pre-Covid levels, as Covid cases increase and stricter quarantine measures in key cities nationwide resumed during the latter half of March.”

In the first three months of this year, Pilipinas Shell specified that its aggregate volume was still down 31-percent compared to last year; while marketing volume had been lower by 16-percent.

Conversely, the oil firm said its lubricants and bitumen volumes registered appreciable increases of 12-percent and 27-percent, respectively.

“This double-digit growth was supported by new customer wins and increase in economic activities in some industries,” the oil firm said.