Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world’s largest petrochemicals groups and the Gulf’s largest listed company, reported a 4.5 per cent drop in third-quarter net income on Sunday, missing analysts’ forecasts.
It earned SAR6.18 billion ($1.65 billion) in the quarter, compared to SAR6.47 billion in the year-earlier period, SABIC reported in a bourse statement.
SABIC, which is 70 per cent state-owned, attributed the fall in profits to a drop in sales and other income, although its cost of financing was lower.
Earnings were below the average forecast of nine analysts polled by Reuters, who had predicted a quarterly profit of SAR6.63 billion.
The company’s results are closely tied to global economic growth because its products – plastics, fertilisers and metals – are used extensively in construction, agriculture, industry and the manufacturing of consumer goods.
SABIC chief executive Mohamed al-Mady said in July that the outlook for petrochemical demand over the next three years was positive and there was room for prices to rise.