KUALA LUMPUR: Petron Malaysia Refining & Marketing Bhd posted a net profit of RM103mil in the first quarter ended March 31, a complete turnaround from a net loss of RM83.6mil in the same quarter last year.
In a statement, Petron said the gains were driven by favorable international oil prices, the gradual return of the domestic fuel consumption that has since been affected by the pandemic, and the Company’s continued cost-saving measures.
“The benchmark Dated Brent crude rose 22% in the first quarter to average US$61 per barrel versus US$50 per barrel in the same period in 2020.
“The price recovery was supported by supply cuts implemented by OPEC+ members and market optimism for a restoration in global demand with the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines,” Petron said.
Its revenue, however, fell 10.6% to RM2bil against RM2.24bil a year ago.
Petron recorded sales of 6.8 million barrels in the first quarter of 2021, slightly above the preceding quarter’s volume but below the 8.1 million barrels sold in the first quarter of 2020.
Compared to last year’s volumes, which was impacted by the government-imposed Movement Control Order (MCO) 1.0 for two weeks, this year’s demand was considerably affected by the longer MCO 2.0 and Conditional MCO imposed in key states to contain the third wave of Covid-19 infections in the country.
The longer MCOs implemented early on during the quarter restricted business and travel activities, thus constraining the company’s sales volume recovery.
Petron said its cost rationalisation measures resulted in a RM6mil reduction in operating expenses during the quarter while adhering to prudent risk management to sustain its financial recovery.
Chairman Ramon S. Ang said its efforts were still geared towards strengthening the business and recovering from the pandemic’s impact.
“As part of our long-term growth objectives, we continue to make progress in expanding our service station network and adding more stations selling our Gasul LPG,” he said.
“Despite the pandemic, we are on track to complete our two major projects at Port Dickson Refinery in the second quarter. We implemented the start-up of our Diesel Hydrotreater Unit last April, while the construction of product tanks and onshore pipelines in our Marine Import Facilities 2 (MIF2) was completed last March.
“We are also expecting the new single buoy mooring and offshore marine terminal facilities for the MIF2 project to be operational by June,” Ang said.
The Diesel Hydrotreater Unit will allow Petron to produce cleaner Euro 5 diesel fuel, while the Marine Import Facilities 2 will enhance freight efficiency.