by MARK RAO / Pic by BLOOMBERG
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) recorded its highest profit since 2013 when it grew its net profit by 22% year-on-year (YoY) to RM55.3 billion for the fiscal year ended Dec 31 last year (FY18).
This attributable to higher upstream and downstream revenue contributions coupled with net write-back on asset impairments recognised by the national energy company over 2018.
Group turnover for FY18 rose 12% YoY to RM251 billion from higher average realised prices for all key products though this was offset by the stronger ringgit-to-US dollar exchange and lower liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales volume.
The stronger showing was in spite of the lower PAT achieved in the fourth quarter of FY18 at RM14.3 billion (down 21% YoY) from higher product costs incurred as well as depreciation and de-commisioning of assets.
Revenue for the quarter, however, increased 13% to RM69.9 billion from higher product prices realised.
Capital expenditure (capex) in FY18 was marginally higher by 5.2% at RM46.8 billion against the RM44.5 billion in FY17, primarily driven by upstream investments in Oman and the multi-billion LNG Canada project.
Progress on the downstream Pengerang Integrated Complex in Southern Johor, which achieved 98% completion at the end of FY18, also contributed to capex last year.
Petronas indicated that FY19 capex is to increase to slightly above RM50 billion with upstream investments making up a good portion of expenditure while some capex will be allocated for investments in new energy.
Meanwhile, group operating costs rose 6% YoY to RM196 billion in FY18 owing to the higher product costs incurred that year.
Petronas declared a RM30 billion special dividend on top of RM24 billion in dividends in respect to FY18 – the first trance of the payments was made in January this year.