Thailand's PTT to post softer Q2 earnings - analyst

14 May 2012 05:42  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Thailand’s PTT is expected to post softer earnings in the second quarter of this year on the back of a fall in oil prices, but gas sales volumes should remain strong because of seasonal factors which should help buoy overall profit, an analyst said on Monday.

The company on 11 May posted a 7.1% year-on-year rise in its net income to baht (Bt) 37.4bn ($1.19bn) in the first quarter of this year, as higher selling prices boosted overall revenues.

“The strong first-quarter earnings were driven by high oil prices and high gas sales volumes,” said Naphat Chantaserekul, a Bangkok-based analyst with DBS Group Research.

The average Dubai oil price rose by 15.5% year on year to $116/bbl in the first quarter, which more than offset the lower sales volumes of 253,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe)/day, compared with 271,00 boe/day in the same period a year earlier, according to Chantaserekul.

The company’s total sales rose 28% year on year to Bt692.1bn in the first quarter, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up by 13.2% at Bt58.7bn, the company said in a statement filed to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Sales from its petrochemical division, meanwhile, slipped 2.3% year on year, or Bt442m, to Bt19.2bn, mainly due to the decrease in average selling prices at a polymer marketing subsidiary, it said.

The group's EBITDA from the petrochemical business fell 44.3% year on year to Bt540m, PTT said.

“Petrochemicals’ recorded lower margins for both aromatics and olefins,” Chantaserekul said without elaborating further.

Meanwhile, sales from the firm’s oil division rose by 14.2% year on year to Bt152.2bn, while EBITDA grew by 33.8% to Bt4.79bn due to the increase in diesel and aviation fuel margins, the company said.

Looking ahead, PTT said that the price of high density polyethylene (HDPE) is expected to be at $1,474/tonne, while the price of polypropylene is likely to grow to $1,500/tonne.

“Aromatics prices tend to remain constant due to lower demand. The benzene price is projected to remain stable around $1,182/tonne, whereas the paraxylene (PX) price is expected to slightly decrease to $1,579/tonne,” it said.

Thailand’s economy is expected to further expand from the first quarter of this year on the back of a recovery in the industrial and export sectors as well as government policies to stimulate the economy, PTT said.

“Nonetheless, several risk factors need to be monitored such as, the global economic slowdown, inflationary pressure from the rise in living costs, oil prices, and higher minimum wages, political uncertainty, and natural disasters,” it added.

For the full year of 2012, PTT is forecast to post a 3.93% year-on-year increase in net profit to Bt108.5bn, with overall revenues will rise 20.4% to Bt2,924bn, according to DBS Group Research.

($1 = Bt31.3, $1 = €0.77)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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