Petronas returns to the black in 1Q21


PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) recorded a higher net profit of RM9.3 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (1Q21), from RM4.5 billion from the corresponding period last year.

In a statement yesterday, the national oil company stated the higher profit was backed by lower overall group costs incurred which partially offset lower revenue in the period.

Revenue for the quarter dropped 12% year-on-year to RM52.5 billion due to lower sales volume of petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and natural gas, coupled with the effect of a stronger ringgit against the US dollar.

Its pretax profit grew 13% YoY to RM22.9 billion in the quarter. Cashflows from operating activities stood at RM14.3 billion, a decrease of 19% YoY due to higher inventory and lower receipts from customers.

Total assets increased to RM593.8 billion as at March 31, 2021, from RM574.1 billion as at Dec 31, 2020, mainly contributed by higher cash and cash equivalents as well as higher receivables.

The group’s capital investments amounted to RM6.7 billion, mainly attributed to upstream projects.

The 1Q results also demonstrated a recovery from the net loss of RM1.1 billion in 4Q20.

Petronas president and group CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz (picture) said the group’s 1Q reflects its continuing commitment to commercial and operational excellence while preserving a healthy level of liquidity to strengthen its resiliency.

He noted steps taken throughout 2020 have provided the group with a stronger foundation to better withstand volatile market conditions while it contends with the global energy transition.

“Even as Petronas navigates the significant challenges and uncertainties posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it will continue to intensify efforts to achieve its net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 aspiration.

“Petronas remains committed to executing its three-pronged growth strategy to become a progressive energy and solutions partner enriching lives for a sustainable future,” he said.

The firm said the oil and gas industry demand is expected to improve following the global vaccine rollout programme, but recovery prospects remain uncertain due to risk of Covid-19 resurgence.

The group will continue to drive for commercial and operational excellence on the back of modest oil price recovery while preserving healthy levels of liquidity.