Petronas expected to post higher earnings for FY21

The better earnings is attributable to the increased price of crude oil in 2H21


PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is expected to post a much better fiscal performance for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2021 (FY21), attributable to the increased price of crude oil in the second half of 2021 (2H21).

University Kuala Lumpur Business School economic analyst Assoc Prof Dr Aimi Zulhazmi Abdul Rashid said better crude oil prices has enabled Petronas to return to the black during 1H21 as its profit after tax (PAT) rose more than 100% at RM18.9 billion compared to the loss after tax of RM16.5 billion in the corresponding period last year.

“Better earnings for FY21 will be further supported by Petronas’ steadfastness in delivering cost-effective solutions with a lower carbon footprint by advancing its technology and digitalisation agenda amidst an uncertain outlook.

“Nonetheless, the demand for oil has not stabilised due to international travelling being restricted while the aviation industry recovery is still questionable,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.

Petronas registered a net loss of RM21 billion in FY20 from a net profit of RM48.8 billion recorded in 2019.

Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas (O&G) company announced it made a PAT of RM16.31 billion for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2021, the highest the national energy firm reported since end-2017, thanks to gains in realised prices and impairment writebacks that more than offset higher product costs.

The state oil firm is expected to announce its financial results today. Putra Business School Assoc Prof Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff also expressed similar sentiment, saying the outlook for FY21 will be more positive than FY20 on the rising price of oil and opening of many economic sectors globally especially during the 2H21 which caused an increasing demand for oil.

“The outlook for O&G industry this year will remain optimistic and positive due to continuing demand for energy and the current Russia-Ukraine crisis will create uncertainties that will drive the demand up further.

“Some of the challenges will come from geopolitical issues that will cause instability in supply and demand. At the same time, efforts by many countries towards transitioning to greener energy will dampen the demand for O&G for the foreseeable future,” he told TMR.

According to Aimi Zulhazmi, the war outbreak between Russia and Ukraine has pushed the oil price above US$100 (RM420) per barrel.

He said many expected the O&G industry to benefit from the surge in the oil prices due to the various factors from war, economic recovery globally, however, the “real rise” is actually smaller as opposed to speculators that drive up the price unnecessarily.

“The uncertainty in demand, especially the aviation industry that has not recovered fully. Even the economic recovery is still uncertain due to the challenges of Covid-19 that are still ongoing.

“Omicron may not be the last variant,” he warned.