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Manila Bulletin - 2021-05-05

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Petron bounces back with ₱1.73-B income

Business News

By MYRNA M. VELASCO

Leading oil firm Petron Corporation has bounced back with ₱1.73 billion net income in first quarter this year, wiping out massive net loss of ₱4.9 billion posted in the same period in 2020. With improved operational performance, Petron announced that it earmarked ₱11 billion capital expenditures (capex) for 2021. This shall be funneled to ongoing construction of steam generator plants, strategic retail network expansion and maintenance requirements. The oil firm, nevertheless, qualified that the profitability it built in January to March this year was just flattered by the fact that it was coming from a negative base; and the overall outcome “still reflected the demand destruction from the pandemic.” In terms of sales volume, Petron specified that it was still 21 percent lower in this year’s initial three months at 19.38 million barrels compared to relatively brisk sales of 24.66 million barrels within the same stretch in 2020. The company’s revenues had likewise been down by 20 percent in the first quarter this year at ₱83.3 billion versus a heftier ₱104.62 billion in a parallel three-month duration last year. Petron, however, noted that despite the downtrend in revenues, it still “delivered a turnaround in the first quarter with ₱3.7 billion operating income,” and that’s a reversal of the ₱4.4 billion operating loss it registered in the same quarter in 2020. The oil firm added that it posted inventory gains in the last quarter “due to recent improvements in international oil prices,” and that was in divergence to its fate last year when it posted inventory losses. The company further emphasized that its strategy on trimming operating expenses and financing costs also “contributed to sustained positive results.” Onward, Petron President and CEO Ramon S. Ang indicated that the company will be “doing all that we can to create a safe and healthy work environment while ensuring that our recovery stays on track.” The company chief executive is primarily pinning hope “with the country’s vaccination program gaining more ground,” with him adding that “we feel confident about our prospects,” primarily with the scheduled resumption of their Limay refinery operations in June this year. And while traversing the fragile transition to anticipated post-Covid recovery, Ang stated that “Petron is constantly evolving, and we will continue to work towards our goal of emerging stronger from this pandemic.”

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