PETRONAS NET PROFIT UP 12PC TO RM23.5 BIL­LION

Com­pany con­fi­dent of pay­ing RM13b div­i­dend to govt, says Wan Zulk­i­flee

New Straits Times - - Front Page - ZARINA ZAKARIAH KUALA LUMPUR zari­naz@me­di­aprima.com.my

PETROLIAM Na­sional Bhd (Petronas) re­mains firmly in the black de­spite a chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment, with a 12 per cent in­crease in net profit last year.

Its net profit rose to RM23.5 bil­lion in the year ended De­cem­ber 31 from RM20.9 bil­lion pre­vi­ously on lower op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­tures and tax ex­penses.

Fourth-quar­ter net profit soared 85 per cent to RM11.3 bil­lion from RM6.1 bil­lion in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

Pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Wan Zulk­i­flee Wan Arif­fin said this was the re­sult of de­lib­er­ate se­quen­tial mea­sures un­der­taken by the com­pany, in­clud­ing trans­for­ma­tion ef­forts, cost op­ti­mi­sa­tion and ef­fi­ciency.

Wan Zulk­i­flee said Petronas would be pay­ing RM13 bil­lion in div­i­dend to the gov­ern­ment, the low­est since 2007.

“The gov­ern­ment, as a stake­holder, has never ad­justed or dis­rupted our plans for cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture (capex) or op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture (opex) plan­ning be­cause of the div­i­dend re­quire­ment.

“So based on our per­for­mance last year, we are con­fi­dent about our com­mit­ment to the gov­ern­ment, which is RM13 bil­lion af­ter dis­cus­sions and ne­go­ti­a­tions last year,” he said.

Petronas paid a div­i­dend of RM16 bil­lion last year, RM26 bil­lion the year be­fore and RM29 bil­lion in 2014, in cop­ing with the slid­ing oil prices since mid-June 2014.

Wan Zulk­i­flee said it had met its tar­get to cut capex and opex of be­tween RM15 bil­lion and RM20 bil­lion with a fo­cus on re­ex­am­in­ing and op­ti­mis­ing costs.

“We have man­aged to re­duce our con­trol­lable costs by eight per cent. I also an­nounced a flat­ter and leaner or­gan­i­sa­tion struc­ture de­signed to al­low faster de­ci­sion-mak­ing and im­proved op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency. As a con­se­quence of the new struc­ture, we were forced to re­duce our head­count in a ef­fort to strengthen ac­count­abil­ity and re­duce du­pli­ca­tion.

“It has taken some time to bear fruit, but I do be­lieve the re­sults were re­flected in us hav­ing achieved higher vol­umes last year de­spite lower capex and opex bud­gets com­pared to 2015,” he said at a brief­ing on the re­sults, here, yes­ter­day.

Group rev­enue for the year dipped 17 per cent to RM204.9 bil­lion from RM247.7 bil­lion in 2015. This re­flected the lower av­er­age prices, in line with the down­ward trend of key bench­mark prices cou­pled with the im­pact of lower sales vol­ume.

Its rev­enue for the fourth quar­ter rose 20 per cent to RM58.6 bil­lion from RM48.7 bil­lion in the pre­ced­ing quar­ter.

Its gear­ing ra­tio in­creased to 17.4 per cent from 16 per cent last year on higher bor­row­ings.

Cap­i­tal in­vest­ments for the year was re­duced by 22 per cent to RM50.4 bil­lion.

SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI PIC BY MO­HAMAD

Petroliam Na­sional Bhd (Petronas) chair­man Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Has­san (cen­tre) with (from left) ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent and group chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Datuk Man­har­lal Rati­lal, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) Datuk Wan Zulk­i­flee Wan Arif­fin, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent and CEO (down­stream) Md Arif Mah­mood and ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent and CEO (up­stream) Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib at the brief­ing on Petronas’s fi­nan­cial re­sults in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

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