21 · May · 2018
Solid Performance in IQ 2018 Plant Utilisation 100%, EBITDA Margin 37%
Kuala Lumpur, 21 May - PETRONAS Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) today reported a strong start to the year, recording a 100% plant utilisation (PU) rate in IQ 2018.
Continuing the good performance from 40 2017, the Group recorded a 4% improvement in revenue at RM5.0 billion in IQ 2018, as compared to the preceding quarter. This is in tandem with higher volumes and improved product prices. The Group also saw a 7% increase in Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) of RM 1.8 billion while Profit After Tax (PAT) increased by 6% to RMI.I billion as compared to quarter four last year. The Group maintained a strong EBITDA margin of 37%.
As compared to IQ 2017, the Group saw a 5% y-o-y increase in revenue. However, the strengthening of the Malaysian Ringgit against the US Dollar caused EBITDA to decline 5% y-o-y to RM1.8 billion. Group PAT declined 20% y-o-y to RM 1.1 billion from RM1.4 billion last year, on account of the strengthening of the Malaysian Ringgit and a once-off foreign exchange loss on shareholder loans pursuant to the divestment of 50% equity interest in its subsidiary, PRPC Polymers Sdn Bhd.
Commenting on the performance for the quarter, PCG's Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Datuk Sazali Hamzah said, "The first quarter saw solid performance by all plants while margins for most products were favorable.”
He added that the Group is now focused on ensuring that plant turnaround activities which commenced in April will be executed as planned. According to Datuk Sazali, 'Several of the Group's plants will undergo planned statutory turnaround in 2018, but we remain committed to sustaining our overall plant utilisation above 90%".
On the chemicals market outlook for the year, Sazali said 'Crude oil prices may have risen over the previous quarters but market conditions remain uncertain. While these have some bearing on product prices, we expect demand to remain strong.’
“Our projects with BASF through our joint venture company, BASF PETRONAS Chemicals Sdn Bhd is on track. The Highly Reactive Polyisobutene (HR-PIB) plant in Gebeng, Pahang, has come on-stream, while the start-up of the new integrated aroma ingredients complex was initiated in 2017 and is currently conducted in a stepwise approach”.
He also added that our projects in Pengerang are progressing well, with 78% completion achieved as at end April 2018. In conclusion, Sazali said "l am very pleased with the progress that we are seeing as we continue towards start-up.”