Petronas returns in the dark in 1Q21
by S BIRRUNTHA / photo by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) reported higher net profit of RM 9.3 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, 2021 (1Q21), compared to RM 4.5 billion compared to the corresponding period last year .
In a statement released yesterday, the national oil company said the rise in profits was supported by a decline in the group’s overall costs incurred, which partially offset the decline in revenues during the period.
Revenue for the quarter fell 12% year-on-year to RM52.5 billion due to lower sales volume of petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and natural gas, coupled with the effect of ‘a stronger ringgit against the US dollar.
Its profit before tax increased 13% year-on-year to RM 22.9 billion in the quarter. Cash flow from operating activities was RM14.3 billion, a year-over-year decline of 19% due to increased inventory and lower customer revenue.
Total assets increased to RM 593.8 billion as of March 31, 2021, from RM 574.1 billion as of December 31, 2020, mainly due to higher cash and cash equivalents as well as higher receivables.
The group’s capital investments amounted to RM6.7 billion, mainly attributed to upstream projects.
The first quarter results also showed a recovery after the net loss of RM 1.1 billion in 4Q20.
Chairman of Petronas and CEO of Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz (Photo) said the group’s first quarter reflects its continued commitment to business and operational excellence while preserving a healthy level of liquidity to strengthen its resilience.
He noted that measures taken throughout 2020 have provided the group with a more solid foundation to better withstand volatile market conditions while addressing the global energy transition.
“Even as Petronas faces the significant challenges and uncertainties posed by the current Covid-19 pandemic, it will continue to step up efforts to achieve its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Petronas remains committed to executing its three-pronged growth strategy to become a progressive partner in energy and life-enriching solutions for a sustainable future,” he said.
The company said demand from the oil and gas industry is expected to improve following the global vaccine deployment program, but the outlook for recovery remains uncertain due to the risk of a Covid-19 resurgence.
The group will continue to seek commercial and operational excellence thanks to a slight recovery in oil prices while maintaining healthy liquidity levels.