KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd‘s net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2021, was RM1.96mil, more than four times net profit of RM471mil in the previous corresponding quarter, due to higher petrochemical product prices.

The group said in a Monday statement an extended rise in crude oil prices coupled with a prolonged tight supply environment resulted in high product prices during the quarter.

In addition, the performance was further supported by the group’s sustained operational excellence and effective cost management.

Earnings per share for the quarter came to 25 sen as compared to six sen in the same quarter a year ago.

A special dividend amounting to RM800mil or 10 sen per share was declared for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2021.

For the quarter under review, revenue came to RM5.77bil, a 67% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase underpinned by improved global demand and tight supply.

“We initially expected the market recovery to be moderate in 3Q 2021 onwards, however, product prices remained relatively high following Hurricane Ida in August that disrupted supply in North America and prolonged downtime in Middle Eastern urea plants amid demand recovery as COVID-19 restrictions eased.

“Although polymer prices were lower by about 5% compared to 2Q 2021, urea and methanol prices grew strongly by about 25% and 10% respectively,” said managing director and CEO Datuk Sazali Hamzah.

Moving forward, he said there could be some reduction in demand due to the resurgence of Covid-19 infections and China’s policy to reduce energy intensity and limit total energy consumption.

However, he noted that other offsetting factors such as the natural gas shortage in Europe and Opec+ production decisions, may continue to support crude oil prices and in turn, the product prices.

On the Pengerang Integrated Complex, he added that the petrochemical facilities are scheduled to commence in 1Q 2022.

“We look forward to this event as our commercial team has secured customers who are ready to offtake our products. It will be an exciting start to the new year for PCG,” he said.

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