Petron Corporation, the country’s largest oil firm, registered a net income of Php6.14 billion in 2021, a reversal from the Php11.4 billion net loss in 2020.
The company said it sold 82.24 million barrels during the year, a five percent growth made possible by the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and re-start of economic activities that improved overall demand during the period.
Local lubricant sales recorded the highest growth at 11%, highlighting the strong performance and presence of its locally produced engine oils and other lubricant products in the market.
Meanwhile, retail volumes went up 6.4% even with the implementation of granular lockdowns, which the company attributed to its volume-generating programs. Industrial sales also grew by two percent as travel restrictions eased and more industries reopened.
Driven by the increase in international prices and higher local demand, Petron’s consolidated revenues for the year reached Php438.06 billion, up 53% from Php286 billion previously. Dubai crude prices breached the $80 per barrel level in the fourth quarter due to recovering oil demand and tighter supply. As a result, it averaged nearly $70 per barrel in 2021, 64% higher than 2020’s $42 per barrel. This is Dubai crude’s highest annual average in the past three years.
The recovery in demand, along with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ managed approach in increasing crude supply back in the market, paved the way for refining margins to improve during the year. Petron said was able to avail of this market improvement as it resumed the operations of its refinery in Limay, Bataan in June.
“To say that we’ve come a long way since the start of this pandemic would be an understatement. We have recovered significant volumes in key market segments, and more importantly, we have returned profitability to our business. This allowed us to follow through on our expansion programs, bring our products and services to more consumers, and contribute to our country’s progress,” Petron President and CEO Ramon Ang said in a statement.
Petron, specifically its Bataan Refinery, was said to have benefitted from the exemption of local oil refineries from paying taxes and duties on crude oil imports under Republic Act 11534 or the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law, which Pres. Rodrigo Duterte approved in March last year.
The oil giant likewise said that the construction of its new 184-megawatt power plant inside the Bataan Refinery is nearing completion. The new plant would eliminate the use of fuel oil at the refinery and allow conversion of these feedstock into more fuel for sale. Back in January, Petron offered senior notes to fund the plant’s construction.
Additional stations were also built in 2021.
Other than the Philippines, Petron also operates in Malaysia.