KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Sep 30, 2019 dropped to RM553 million from RM1.21 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Revenue fell to RM3.67 billion from RM4.83 billion previously, the group said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

It said the lower revenue was driven by lower product prices, partially offset by higher sales volume and the weakening of the ringgit against the US dollar, while the lower net profit was partially offset by lower tax expense.

“The group recorded plant utilisation of 81 per cent, which had improved from the corresponding quarter of 79 per cent, mainly due to better plant performance. Correspondingly, production and sales volumes increased.

“Overall average product prices for the group decreased from the corresponding quarter in tandem with the declining crude oil price and softer market demand,” it said.

Moving forward, the company said the results of the group’s operations were expected to be primarily influenced by global economic conditions, foreign exchange rate movements, utilisation rate of its production facilities and petrochemical products prices which have a high correlation to the crude oil price, particularly for the olefins and derivatives segment.

“The utilisation of our production facilities is dependent on plant maintenance activities and sufficient availability of feedstock, as well as utilities supply. The group will continue with its operational excellence programme and supplier relationship management to sustain plant utilisation level at above industry benchmark,” it added. – Bernama