Petronas’ first-quarter net profit sank 60% year on year to 4.6 billion ringgit (US$1.12 billion) on weaker downstream revenues and lower LNG output.
The figure was down from the 11.4 billion ringgit (US$2.77 billion) profit seen in the first quarter of 2015. Revenue fell 26% year on year to 49.16 billion ringgit (US$12 billion) from 66.2 billion ringgit (US$16.18 billion).
Petronas’ downstream revenues slipped 24% year on year and 19% quarter on quarter to finish at 22 billion ringgit (US$5.4 billion). Downstream profits halved to 1.1 billion ringgit (US$266.9 million) from around 2 billion ringgit (US$485.3 million) in the corresponding quarter of 2015.
Petronas attributed the performance to a “significant downward trend” for oil products. Tightening downstream income compounded the impact of lower LNG production at Bintulu Port in Sarawak, where Chinese demand has slowed recently.
LNG sales volumes fell to 7.35 million tonnes, from 8.06 million tonnes in the preceding quarter, and from 8.04 million tonnes a year earlier. Full-year LNG throughput at Bintulu, as reported by operators Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd (BPHB) on May 9, slid 1.6% in 2015 to 25.1 million tonnes.
Petronas reports LNG figures as part of its upstream business, which continued to struggle amid the industry depression.
Upstream revenues slipped 17% quarter on quarter and 27% year on year to 29.27 billion ringgit (US$7.15 billion). But the division still managed to turn a 2.3 billion ringgit (US$558.1 million) profit, after recording a 12.5 billion ringgit (US$3.03 billion) loss in the preceding quarter.
Production volumes climbed to 2.45 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, from around 2.4 million boepd a year earlier, on greater liftings in Iraq and fresh output in Indonesia.
Petronas intends to slice up to 50 billion ringgit (US$11.4 billion) from investment over the next four years, and announced 1,000 redundancies on March 1.