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Tuesday July 15, 2008 MYT 4:23:50 PM

Petronas posts record profit, declares RM6b dividend to govt (updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) Group posted a record profit of RM61bil for the financial year ended March 31, 2008, which was a 31.5% increase from RM46.4bil a year ago.

Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Hassan Merican said Tuesday the national oil corporation also decided to pay out a special dividend of RM6bil to the Federal Government.

“The dividend will be paid out this calendar year,” he said, adding that Petronas still has sufficient cashflow from its operations for its own capital expenditure.

Announcing a strong set of results, Hassan said in terms of US dollar, Petronas Group’s net profit for the financial year ended March 31, 2008 rose 40.3% to RM18.1bil from US$12.9bil a year ago due to the stronger ringgit.

Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Hassan Merican announcing the Petronas financial results - Starpic by Ong Soon Hin

Petronas Group’s revenue rose 21.2% to RM223.1bil from RM184.1bil. In US dollars terms, revenue rose 29.8% to RM66.2bil from RM51bil.

Its total assets rose 15.2% to RM339.3bil from RM294.6bil while shareholders’ funds rose 17.6% to RM201bil from RM170.9bil.

Elaborating on the higher net profit for the group, he said apart from the group’s ability to contain costs, this achievement was also largely due to the improved operational efficiency and higher plant reliability achieved across the group’s businesses.

“The higher profit has enabled Petronas to provide higher payment to governments. For the year, Petronas Group paid out RM67.6bil to governments, bringing the group’s total payments to governments to RM403.3bil since its incorporation in 1974,” he said.

Of the RM67.6bil payment for the year, he said RM62.8bil was paid to the Federal Government comprising RM30bil dividend which included a RM6bil special dividend, RM20.6bil in the form of petroleum income tax, RM5.4bil in corporate income tax, RM2.1bil in export duties and RM4.7bil of royalty payment.

He said a total of RM4.8bil was paid as royalty payments to the state governments of Terengganu, Sarawak and Sabah.

“Petronas Group’s payment to the Federal Government for the year represents 44% of the Federal Government’s revenue,” he said.

Hassan also said the RM67.6bil total payment to governments for the year represented 63.1% of the Petronas Group profits for the same period.

He added that Petronas Group retained only 29.2% of its profits during the year for reinvestments and the balance 7.7% was used to pay foreign taxes and minority interests.

“The reinvestment is necessary to ensure the group’s sustainable operations and growth in order to be able to continue to generate value for its stakeholders,” he added.

He also said higher prices during the year also resulted in Petronas incurring a higher subsidy to the nation’s gas sector.

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