PETALING JAYA: It is all systems go at Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PetDag) as it gears up for a rebound when the market normalises.
The group is anticipating a better outlook in the second half of the year as it is starting to see improvements in petroleum product prices and a slight growth in demand.
Moving forward, PetDag said it would reinforce its financial strength for the near term by reducing non-essential spend, whilst continuing to invest in asset integrity and growth projects that are aligned with its long-term strategic priorities.
This includes adding new stations, accelerating digitalisation and efforts to enhance revenue diversification.
Managing director and chief executive officer Azrul Osman Rani said: “We continue to identify untapped opportunities to expand our growth, such as providing more attractive food offerings at Kedai Mesra and enhancing the Setel app, which is now recognised as the only refuelling app in the market that helps minimise physical touch points, a clear advantage in this period of social distancing to minimise the spread of the coronavirus disease.
“We are optimistic that with our strong fundamentals and strategic growth plans, we will be able to ride this wave and emerge stronger, ” he said in a statement yesterday after the group’s AGM held in a virtual setting.
Azrul said the PetDag is cognisant that 2020 would be challenging amid the sharply declining petroleum product prices and challenges from the ongoing global pandemic.
The external factors affected the group’s first quarter results for the period ended March 31, with a net loss of RM29.42mil as compared to RM291.2mil in the same quarter in 2019.
PetDag closed 2019 with a profit before tax of RM1.13bil and increased its sales volume by 5% to 15.6 billion litres as compared to 2018.
It had declared and paid a total dividend of 85 sen per ordinary share for 2019, representing a payout ratio of 104%.
Azrul said the company has performed better than market expectations, owing to its focus on strategic market initiatives to push for volume whilst leveraging on its products and innovative solutions such as Setel.
“We were on the right trajectory as we saw an increase in demand for our products.
“The new Petronas Primax 95 with Pro-Drive, is a superior quality product that most of our customers have attested to and this has resulted in our highest sales volume since 2014, ” he said.
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