PETRONAS Chemicals posts RM1.9bil net profit in 3Q amid narrowing margins

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd is seeing softening demand, especially for polymer products, amid the high cost of energy continued amid the extended Covid-19 lockdowns in China.

In a statement, managing director and CEO Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof said the prices of olefins and derivatives are expected to moderate further until the easing of restrictions in China.

However, he said urea prices are expected to remain high between US$550 a tonne to US$700 a tonne as energy prices remain elevated due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

In the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2022, PETRONAS Chemicals posted a net profit of RM1.9bil compared with a net profit of RM1.96bil in the previous corresponding quarter amid softer margins and lower contributions from joint ventures and associates.

"While the stronger US Dollar boosted our revenue, we faced margin pressure as a result of higher operating costs," said Mohd Yusri.

The group's earnings per share dropped to 24 sen as compared with 25 sen in 3Q21.

For the quarter, revenue came to RM7.03bil, which was 21.96% higher than in the same quarter in 2021, owing to higher product prices amid the stronger US dollar and higher sales volume.

According to Mohd Yusri, product prices remained elevated during the quarter on high crude oil and energy prices, although lower than in 2Q22.

The goup's production and sales volumes improved with its plant utilisation rate rising to 97% from 72% in 2Q22.

About 70% of PETRONAS Chemicals' production volume is exported within the Asia Pacific region, of which, Southeast Asia makes up about 40%, it added.

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