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Mon 18 Apr 2011 09:04 PM

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Saudi's SABIC posts 42% rise in Q1 net profit

Saudi Arabia's biggest petrochemical company says performance driven by rise in production, sales

Saudi's SABIC posts 42% rise in Q1 net profit
SABIC CEO Mohamed Al Mady. (Getty Images)

Saudi Basic Industries Corp

(SABIC) reported a 42 percent rise in its

first-quarter net profit as it increased production and sales,

it said on Monday, beating analysts forecasts.

Saudi Arabia's biggest petrochemical company said in a

statement on the kingdom's bourse website net profit reached SR7.7

billion Saudi ($2.05 billion) in the three months through

March, compared with 5.4 billion in the same period a year

earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the firm to post, on

average, 6.2 billion riyals for the first-quarter.

SABIC said its operational profit increased by 29 percent in

the quarter compared with a year before to 12.2 billion riyals.

"We expect the stock to witness a strong rally in the short

term on the back of these outstanding results," said Mahdi

Mattar, head of research and chief economist at CAPM Investment,

in an emailed statement.

"While current petchem prices are holding up at their

elevated levels as a result of the geopolitical risks and the

corresponding high oil prices, this trend is expected to ease in

the midterm," he added.

The earnings were released after trading on the Saudi bourse

closed, with SABIC shares down 0.7 percent, underperforming a

0.02 percent rise in the Saudi market as a whole.

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