Petron Corp. made a turnaround in the first half of the year, bouncing back with a P3.87-billion consolidated net income after hitting a P14.24-billion net loss in the same period last year, as oil prices picked up and market optimism returned amid the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19.
“Though we continue to face some challenges, we have seen tremendous progress this year,” Petron president and chief executive Ramon S. Ang said in a statement, referring to what he described as a “remarkable recovery” in the company’s performance.
Ang said the increase in demand and continued improvement in international prices indicated the petroleum industry was “slowly but surely” regaining lost ground.
“Our financial performance in Petron, due in no small part to our recovery efforts and prudent use of resources, is proving to be a complete turnaround from last year, which we hope to sustain as we continue to move past the pandemic slump,” he added.
In the first six months of 2021, crude oil prices rose steadily with the Asian benchmark Dubai crude fetching an average of $72 per barrel, a 44-percent increase from the levels last year.
According to Petron, the bullish market was driven by the major oil producers’ conservative stance on supply management. In turn, this was given a boost by optimistic market sentiments engendered by the global vaccination rollouts and gradual reopening of economies.
From January to June, combined revenues of Petron’s Philippine and Malaysian operations improved by 14 percent year-on-year to P174.13 billion from P152.36 billion.
This happened despite overall sales volume going down by 7 percent, reflecting a slowdown in sales to industrial customers as the market continued to feel the impact of the pandemic.
This was, however, partially offset by better results in Petron’s retail business as fuel sales volumes went up by 12 percent, while lubricants improved by almost 50 percent.
In terms of operating income, Petron chalked up P8.95 billion this year, recovering from a loss of P14.54 billion in 2020.
Petron also noted its refinery in Bataan went back online in June as crude prices were recovering steadily even as refining margins in the region remained suppressed.