Revenues at Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) plunged 28 per cent from a year earlier to SAR35.56 billion ($9.48 billion), and dropped 18 per cent from the previous quarter, acting chief executive Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan said on Sunday.
He was speaking to reporters after the company, one of the world’s largest petrochemicals groups, reported a 39 per cent year-on-year drop in first-quarter net income, blaming the slide in oil and petrochemical product prices. SABIC made a net profit of SAR3.93 billion in the three months to March 31.
Benyan said the fall in oil and petrochemical product prices was “out of control”, but that his company was nevertheless well placed to deliver sustainable growth and superior returns, helped by four per cent gross domestic product growth expected in Saudi Arabia this year.
The outlook is positive for the Asian petrochemicals market because of growth in China, while Africa looks promising for future investment, he added.
Benyan said the company had no plans at present to tap the debt market, and was not planning to refinance a loan maturing in June.
The company is not in the business of hedging currencies and that is not on its radar, but it does its best to maintain cash to meet its needs in Europe and minimise its exposure to swings in the euro exchange rate, he said in answer to a question about the impact of the euro’s weakness.