PETRONAS NET PROFIT UP 12PC TO RM23.5 BILLION
Company confident of paying RM13b dividend to govt, says Wan Zulkiflee
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.
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.