by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK
LOTTE Chemical Titan Holding Bhd has posted a net profit of RM440 million in its first quarter ended Dec 31, 2021 (1Q21), its highest since its listing in 2017, from a net loss of RM170.06 million on higher product average selling prices (ASPs).
In a Bursa Malaysia filing today, the company said its turnover for the quarter rose 23% year-on-year (YoY) to RM2.37 billion from RM1.46 billion due to the increase in ASPs and sales volume. Its earnings per share stood at 19.36 sen apiece for the quarter from a loss per share of 7.48 sen previously.
Lotte Chemical president and CEO Park Hyun Chul said the record profitability during the quarter were mainly attributable to lower naphtha feedstock costs, in line with global Brent crude oil prices.
Its key polymer products have seen surging ASPs since the 4Q20. Market polymer ASPs had fallen to US$800 (RM3,281.60)/MT in the 2Q20 before it subsequently increased to US$1,300/MT in the 1Q21.
Two of the company’s key products, the low-density polyethylene and polypropylene, are fetching an even higher market ASPs of around US$1,650/MT and US$1,550, respectively, as at March 2021. This is the highest price levels observed in the last two years since the industry experienced a downturn beginning in 2018, Park said.
The company expects its petrochemical business to remain volatile for the remaining period of the year as the industry correlates with and is heavily dependent on the regional and global economic growth as well as aggregate consumption pattern.
Notwithstanding this, the company said it will continue to maintain its strong financial resilience and optimise its operations to ride through the challenging business environment.