Petron bounces back after posting P1.73-b profit in Q1


Petron Corp. on Tuesday reported a net income of P1.73 billion in the first quarter, a reversal of the P4.9-billion net loss in the same period last year on improving international oil prices and cost-cutting measures.

Petron said the strong financial performance in the first quarter was also higher than its P1.2-billion net income in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“As a company, we are doing all that we can to create a safe and healthy work environment while ensuring that our recovery stays on track. Petron is constantly evolving, and we will continue to work towards our goal of emerging stronger from this pandemic,” said Petron president and chief executive Ramon Ang.

Petron said while its total sales performance in the first three months continued to improve compared to the average in the last three quarters of 2020, it still reflected the decreased demand brought about by the pandemic.

First-quarter volumes reached 19.38 million barrels, or 21 percent lower than 24.66 million barrels sold in the same period last year, while consolidated revenues declined 20 percent to P83.3 billion from P104.62 billion a year ago.

Petron said despite lower revenues, it delivered a turnaround in the first quarter with a P3.7-billion operating income coming from its P4.4-billion operating loss in the same period last year.

“With the country’s vaccination program gaining more ground, we feel confident about our prospects and have, in fact, scheduled the resumption of our refining operations this June,” Ang said.

Petron shut down its 180,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Bataan for economic and maintenance reasons in February.

The company recorded inventory gains from the recent improvements in international oil prices, in contrast with the inventory loss in the first quarter 2020. Savings on operating expenses and financing costs also contributed to the sustained positive results.

San Miguel Corp., the parent company of Petron, is spending close to P1 billion for its group-wide Ligtas Lahat vaccination program, which aims to inoculate 70,000 SMC employees and extended workforce to help the government achieve its vaccination goals.

“We are banking on the success of vaccination efforts here and abroad to boost our economy and the downstream business environment in general. While we have our work cut out for us, we are inspired to do more, grow stronger and contribute further to society,” said Ang.

Petron set aside P11 billion for its capital expenditure program this year which covers on-going construction of steam generator plants, strategic retail network expansion and maintenance requirements.

The company built 14 new stations in the first quarter with plans to build more for the rest of the year.

Following its approval as a registered-enterprise in December, the Petron Bataan Refinery started to transition into an Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan project to avail of fiscal incentives from operating in a Freeport zone.

Petron’s two major expansion projects in Port Dickson Refinery—the Diesel Hydrotreater and Marine Import Facility 2 in Malaysia remained on track.

The new DHT unit will enable the refinery to produce ultra-low sulphur automotive diesel, while the MIF2 will expand its finished product storage capacity to support future growth in Petron Malaysia and generate savings on freight cost.

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