(Changes slug, updates share movement)
KUALA LUMPUR May 15 Malaysia's Petronas
Chemicals Group Berhad on Monday reported a doubling
in quarterly profit, helped by higher prices and sales volume,
but remained cautious about recovery in the petrochemicals
market as crude prices remain volatile.
The chemicals manufacturer, a subsidiary of state-run energy
firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), reported a
first-quarter profit of 1.38 billion ringgit ($318.49 million),
compared with 671 million ringgit a year earlier.
Revenue rose 49 percent to 4.7 billion ringgit from the
year-ago quarter. Sales volume increased 16 percent, while
product prices rose by an average of 22 percent.
"Petrochemical product prices have risen in tandem and
demand has also shown some improvement," CEO Sazali Hamzah said
in a statement.
"Despite the improvements that we have seen so far, crude
oil and as such petrochemical prices, is forecast to remain
Petronas Chemicals makes olefins, polymers, fertilisers and
methanol among others. Petronas owns about 65 percent of the
The company said it anticipates the olefins and derivatives
market to soften in the near term due to post re-stocking
activities amid stable supply and feedstock prices. Methanol
prices are also expected to soften in the near term, it said.
The fertiliser market is likely to firm on the back of
seasonal demand from Southeast Asia and India coupled with tight
supply from the Middle East, Petronas Chemicals said.
Plant utilisation rate for the year will be slightly lower
than 2016 due to higher statutory turnarounds planned, it said.
Shares of the company recouped some losses following the
results. They were trading down 0.4 percent at 7.20 ringgit per
share, after falling as much as 2 percent earlier in the day.
($1 = 4.3330 ringgit)
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Stephen Coates and