Petronas posts 26% jump in first-quarter profit

KUALA LUMPUR: State energy firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad, or Petronas, today said its first quarter profit rose 26%, boosted by higher oil prices.

January-March quarter profit totalled RM13 billion (US$3.26 billion), up from RM10.3 billion in the same period last year. Revenue rose 2.5% to RM57.9 billion, according to a statement issued on the company’s website.

Petronas said it expected overall year-end performance to be “satisfactory” subject to the volatility of oil prices and foreign exchange rates.

“While oil prices have trended upwards, the industry must continue to be diligent in institutionalising the cost-effective discipline and the drive for efficiencies pursued over the past few years,” said chief executive Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

Petronas, a major contributor to Malaysia’s budget and one of the country’s biggest employers, embarked on a cost-cutting drive in early 2015 to offset lower oil prices at that time.

Its total production volume for the quarter rose to 2,461 thousand barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day compared to 2,387 boe/day in the same period last year.

Petronas also said its Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in the state of Johor is on track for a 2019 start-up.

The company said the development was 90% completed at the end of April.