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Petronas’ half-year net profit surges more than 50pct, to pay RM24bil dividend to government for 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) recorded a 54 per cent higher net profit of RM26.6 billion in the first half of 2018 from RM17.3 billion in the corresponding period in 2017.

The improved results were on the back of higher revenue, lower net impairment on assets and well costs as well as other expenses.

The increase was, however, partially offset by higher net product and production costs coupled with higher tax expenses.

Petronas president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said the better performance was driven by continued focus on driving operational excellence and execution of its business improvement initiatives and supported by increased commodity prices and improved margins.

“We registered a five per cent increase in cash flows from operating activities to RM41.7 billion compared to RM39.8 billion in the corresponding period.

“The group’s capital investments for the first six months of 2018 was RM19.8 billion which was mainly spent on the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) project.

“I am pleased to share that our PIC is on track at 92 per cent overall progress aa of June 2018. We expect to see completion of the refinery and cracker construction by quarter one 2019 as planned,” he said at the half-year results briefing today.

The national oil company recorded RM117.2 billion in revenue, up eight per cent from RM107.1 billion, benefitting from ongoing internal effots to optimise efficiency and higher average realised prices for all products and increased production.

Its total assets increased to RM610.7 billiom as at June 30, 2018 from RM599.8 billion as at December 31, 2017 primarily due to higher cash and fund investments.

Its net profit also increased 94 per cent to RM13.6 billion quarter-on-quarter from RM7.0 billion the previous quarter.

When asked about the dividend payment to the government, Wan Zulkiflee said Petronas would be paying RM24 billion this year compared to RM19 billion last year.

He also said that Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would cease to be its advisor from Saturday and that there were no discussions over the government reducing its stake in Petronas.

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