Petronas records net profit of RM12.3 bln in first quarter, up almost 60 pct


KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), which posted almost 60 per cent increase in its net profit for the first quarter ended June 30, 2010 on high demand, expects better overall performance in financial year ending March 31, 2011.

President and chief executive officer, Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas, said the group, however, said the second-half’s result was not expected to be as rosy as the first-half’s on uncertainties in global economic recovery.

“The world economy is still fragile and we are not sure what will happen in the future.

“However, we anticipate the whole year’s performance to be better than last year’s,” he told reporters after announcing the first-quarter results here yesterday.

The national oil corporation recorded a net profit of RM12.3 billion in the first quarter, up by 59.7 per cent from RM7.7 billion in the same quarter of 2009.

Its pre-tax profit climbed 39 per cent to RM21.4 billion from RM15.4 billion previously.

The positive profits were attributed to enhanced operational efficiencies and cost optimisation initiatives as seen in the improved return on revenue of 36.5 per cent, return on average capital employed of 30.9 per cent and return on total assets of 20.6 per cent.

Revenue for the first quarter jumped by 26.3 per cent to RM58.6 billion from RM46.4 billion previously on the back of higher petroleum product prices and high world demand, particularly from emerging economies.

During April-June this year, Malaysia’s total oil and gas production rose by 0.3 per cent, or 1.56 million barrels per day (bpd), compared with same period last year due to improved overall performance.

Global oil demand increased by 3.2 per cent year-on-year in line with stronger economic activities.

Demand is expected to hover around 86.5 million bpd in 2010 and marginally increase to 87.8 million bpd in 2011.

“We will continue as a global player but with a greater emphasis on domestic deepwater and unconventional plays to arrest domestic production declines,” Shamsul Azhar said.

He said Petronas would continue to enhance and improve oil and gas recovery from existing fields.

Shamsul Azhar said capital expenditure this year was higher than last year’s.

He, however, declined to elaborate.

Shamsul Azhar said Petronas was expected to maintain this year’s dividend at RM30 billion. — Bernama