KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 15): Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd's net profit rose 42% to RM1.37 billion in the second quarter ended June 30, 2018 (2QFY18) from RM964 million a year ago, in tandem with higher earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), supported by higher interest income and lower tax expenses.
According to its Bursa Malaysia filing, revenue increased by 19.6% to RM4.73 billion from RM3.96 billion mainly driven by higher product prices and sales volumes, partially offset by the strengthening of the ringgit against the US dollar.
The group also declared an interim dividend of 14 sen per ordinary share, amounting to RM1.12 billion, for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2018, payable on Sept 20.
For the cumulative six months (1HFY18), Petronas Chemicals' net profit grew to RM2.44 billion from RM2.26 billion a year ago, while revenue rose 11.9% to RM9.68 billion from RM8.65 billion in 1HFY17.
Commenting on its prospects, Petronas Chemicals said the group anticipates the olefins and derivatives segment to be stable in the near term, drawing support from healthy downstream demand and firm feedstock prices.
However, supply is expected to meet demand as major producers have started up after their scheduled turnarounds.
"The group expects the fertiliser and methanol segment to be firm in view of tight supply due to turnaround in the Middle East region and US sanction on Iran.
"Methanol prices are forecasted to be firm primarily owing to short supply due to upcoming planned turnarounds in China and South East Asia, supported by healthy demand in line with resumption of methanol-to-olefins plants from turnarounds," Petronas Chemicals said.