Petron profit up 64% to P8B on higher fuel demand

PETRON Corp. posted a 64% increase in net income to P8.2 billion for nine months to September from P4.99 billion a year ago, as the country’s largest oil refining firm recorded increased fuel demand.

“Despite uncertainties from geopolitical conflicts affecting the industry, we are pleased to note that our recovery is still on track,” Petron President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said in a media release on Tuesday.

During the nine-month period, Petron’s local sales volume climbed by almost 30%, which the company attributed to higher fuel demand. Combined sales in its Philippine and Malaysian operations, including its trading subsidiary in Singapore, rose by 37% to 80.4 million barrels from 58.8 million last year.

The company has yet to disclose specific figures for the third quarter.

Petron, which also claims to be the country’s largest marketing company, said the average price of Dubai crude slipped by $11 per barrel to $96.88 in the third quarter because of recession fears. But it said that despite the movement during the quarter, prices of finished fuel products remained high compared with the level in 2021.

“The demand recovery in most economies supported the continued strength of regional refining cracks resulting in the overall improvement in margins,” Petron said in the media release.

From January to September, Petron’s operating income went up by 23% to P16.5 billion from P13.4 billion in the same period last year.

For the nine-month period, the company said its consolidated revenues more than doubled to P631.1 billion from P291.6 billion reported a year ago.

However, the rise was pulled down by the increase in financing cost brought about by the peso depreciation and successive rate hikes.

In its previous regulatory filing, Petron reported a second-quarter net income of P3.51 billion while its net income for the first semester was recorded at P6.76 billion.

Meanwhile, Petron secured approval from shareholders to construct and operate a coco-methyl ester plant. It will proceed to obtain the needed permits.

The company has also acquired a palm methyl ester plant in Malaysia that will serve as an internal source for its biodiesel products. The plant has expanded this year to support local biodiesel demand.

In the company’s disclosure on Tuesday, Petron said that its board of directors approved the declaration of cash dividends of P17.18 per outstanding common shares for shareholders on record as of Nov. 29. The payment will be made on Dec. 26 for preferred shares series 3A.

Meanwhile, its board approved the declaration of cash dividends of P17.85 per outstanding common shares for shareholders on record as of Nov. 29. The payment will be made on Dec. 26 for preferred shares series 3B.

Petron operates the only remaining refinery in the country that provides 40% of local petroleum requirements. Its refinery in Bataan produces 180,000 barrels per day.

In the region, it operates about 50 terminals and has around 2,700 service stations where it sells gasoline and diesel. Its combined refining capacity is 268,000 barrels a day, producing fuels and petrochemicals.

On Tuesday, shares in the company declined 1.24% or P0.03 to close at P2.38 each. — Ashley Erika O. Jose