Although the year-on-year profit of Petron Corp. clearly surged, the P1.1-billion net profit it registered during the first half of this year is not at par with the P2.2 billion it earned in the first quarter.
Petron said in a statement on Tuesday that it posted a “relatively modest performance” and recorded a net profit of P1.1 billion for the first half, which is better than the P183 million posted over the same period last year.
However, the country’s largest oil refiner and retailer earlier reported its net income dropped 12 percent to P2.2 billion in the first quarter of the year, from P2.5 billion a year ago. The company said the 2nd quarter of this year was challenging given the sudden drop in commodity prices especially in April and May.
Similar to other downstream oil companies in the region, Petron said it experienced depressed margins owing to the substantial decline in Dubai crude prices, which averaged $108 a barrel in the first quarter versus the $101 a barrel in the second quarter.
“This caused local fuel prices to fall sharply against higher costing inventory. Petron also had a planned maintenance shutdown during the second quarter and had to import higher-costing finished products,” Petron said.
Petron also posted revenues of P218.8 billion for the first six months of 2013, up 13 percent over the same period last year.
This increase in revenues, according to Petron, was brought about by the increase in its fuel sales volume.
Petron Corp. reported a 22-percent increase in first-half sales volumes, at 39.8 million barrels of petroleum sold from 32.5 million barrels in 2012, due to the full consolidation of its Malaysian operations and the stronger performance of key domestic segments.
“Even as the short-term business outlook for the oil industry remains volatile, Petron focused on completing major projects aimed at boosting profitability over the long term,” said Ramon Ang, Petron chairman and chief executive officer.
The listed oil firm also reported that it is nearing the completion of its biggest investment, the $2-billion Refinery Masterplan Phase 2 at its 180,000 barrel-a-day Bataan refinery.
The project, about 80-percent complete, is expected to improve margins as it eliminates the production of low value fuel oil, converting it to high-value gasoline, diesel and petrochemicals instead.
In Malaysia, Petron continues to upgrade and convert its service stations to the Petron brand and image. Nearly 200 out of 560 stations have been converted featuring improved facilities and personalized services.