Saudi's SABIC Q4 net profit falls 18% as output, sales drop

SABIC CEO Yousef al-Benyan told a news conference that he was optimistic about the outlook for 2018
SABIC CEO Yousef al-Benyan told a news conference that he was optimistic about the outlook for 2018, as an increase in oil prices reflect positively on petrochemical prices.
By Reuters
Sun 28 Jan 2018 12:26 PM

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said on Sunday it took a 350 million riyals ($93.34 million) impairment on its steel unit, Hadeed, in the fourth quarter and still sees challenges in the steel market.

SABIC CEO Yousef al-Benyan told a news conference that he was optimistic about the outlook for 2018, as an increase in oil prices reflect positively on petrochemical prices.

Benyan also said the company can self-finance the acquisition of a nearly 25 percent stake in Clariant, which was announced last week.

The world's fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, SABIC reported an 18.6 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, citing lower output and sales.

SABIC made a net profit of 3.67 billion riyals ($979 million) in the three months to Dec.31, down from 4.51 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement.

SABIC, which aims to be the Number 3 petrochemicals producer, attributed the fall in profit to planned turnarounds at certain plants which hit output, and also noted that 2016's quarterly profit was helped by the recognition of deferred tax assets.

A turnaround is a scheduled event where an industrial plant is shut down to be revamped.

SICO Bahrain had projected a net profit of 5.34 billion riyals and NCB Capital had a forecast of 5.41 billion riyals for net profit in the fourth quarter.

The company's results are closely tied to oil prices and global economic growth because its products -- plastics, fertilisers and metals -- are used extensively in construction, agriculture, industry and the manufacturing of consumer goods.

Last week, SABIC bought a 25 percent stake in Clariant , ending the Swiss speciality chemical group's fight with activist investors but raising further questions about its future.

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