By Souhail Karam
SABIC posts 76% drop in Q2 net profit on sharp drop in petrochem, metal prices.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) posted on Saturday a 76 percent drop in second-quarter net profit and attributed the drop to a sharp decrease in prices of petrochemicals and metals.
SABIC made a net profit of 1.81 billion riyals ($482.7m) in the three months to June 30, down from 7.55 billion riyals a year earlier, it said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website.
"The decline in second-quarter net profit ... is due to a sharp decrease in the prices of petrochemicals, plastics and minerals because of the global financial and economic crisis," it said.
In addition to petrochemicals, SABIC owns Hadeed, Saudi Arabia's largest steel maker.SABIC said sales volume in the six months to June 30 stood at 22.9 million tonnes, which is 2 percent above the same period in 2008. It did not give figures for the second quarter.
Based on the firm's first-quarter earnings announcement, the volume of sales in the second quarter stood at 11.37 million tonnes down from 11.47 million tonnes a year earlier.
The firm shocked investors when it reported a net loss of 974 million riyals in the first quarter of 2009.
Earnings per share at the end of the first six months of 22009 stood at 0.28 riyals down from 4.82 riyals a year earlier, it said.
Operating profit in the second quarter stood at 4.08 billion riyals down from 12.14 billion riyals a year earlier.
SABIC's 42.9 percent holding in Saudi Fertilizers Co (Safco) has yielded it 536.3 million riyals in dividends at the end of June.
Analysts polled by Reuters have expected SABIC to post an average 78 percent drop in second-quarter profit. (Reuters)