Philippines' Petron Malaysia confident business performance will improve, says chairman


KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 (Bernama): Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd (Petron Malaysia) is confident that through the resilience of its operations, strong financial position and prudent risk management, the company’s business performance will improve as the country makes progress towards recovery.

Chairman Ramon S. Ang said Malaysia’s economy is projected to gradually recover in 2021 as market confidence improves supported by the rollout of vaccines targeting the majority of the population.

"This increases our confidence in seeing significant improvements in the business environment which -- in tandem with our financial resilience, operational excellence, and brand-building efforts -- will make for a better and stronger year for the company, ” he said in Petron Malaysia’s 2020 annual report.

Ang said the oil price war in the first quarter of 2020 and the worldwide demand destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the oil market crisis characterised by oversupply of oil and plummeting prices.

Dated Brent marked its all-time low, averaging only US$19 per barrel in April last year.

Ang said Petron Malaysia, which operates a refinery in Port Dickson, posted a 21 per cent drop in sales volume to 28.6 million barrels in 2020 from 36.3 million barrels in 2019, as the collapse in oil prices caused its revenues to contract 44 per cent to RM6.5 billion from the RM11.5 billion posted in 2019.

"The drop in sales volume and inventory holding losses resulting from the oil price plunge led to a 65 per cent decline in our gross profit to RM167 million compared to RM472 million in 2019, ” he added.

In overcoming these financial challenges, Ang said Petron Malaysia has re-aligned its plans and initiated cash preservation measures to overcome the pandemic’s severe impact -- all while putting the health and safety of its people first.

Due to its concerted efforts, the group managed to save RM31 million or 11 per cent in its operating expenses, he added.

"By the second half of the year, we were able to bring our company back to profitability, successfully overcoming the pandemic slump. This greatly reduced our net loss for the whole year to RM13 million, ” said Ang.

He noted that Petron Malaysia continued to grow its retail network to ensure that its products were always accessible to motorists and consumers.

Together with its sister companies in the Petron Malaysia Group, it had streamed 25 new service stations, making its petroleum products available at more than 720 stations in Malaysia.

"To meet the increasing demand for our high-performance fuels, Blaze 100 is now available at over 100 stations, while our trailblazing Turbo Diesel Euro 5 is now offered at over 240 stations, ” he said.

Petron Malaysia (formerly Esso Malaysia Bhd) is 73.4 per cent owned by the Philippines’ leading oil company, Petron Corporation, which acquired ExxonMobil’s downstream businesses in March 2012 for US$195.12 million. - Bernama

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