KARACHI (ICIS)--Saudi Arabia's Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical (Petro Rabigh) third quarter net profit plunged to Saudi riyal (SR)14m from SR409.3m in the same year ago period because of maintenance works at the refinery and petrochemical units, and weak margins, the company said on Thursday.
The joint venture of state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical reported fall in gross profit by 68.63% to SR202.1m while operating profit remained at SR27.9m versus SR460.9m in the same period last year, Petro Rabigh said in a statement issued to Saudi stock exchange.
“The decrease in net profit of Q3, 2013 versus Q3, 2012 is mainly due to lower refinery margins.....The blackout of integrated plant during September 2013 has also resulted in increased maintenance costs thereby reduction in net profit for the current quarter,” the company said.
The company reported a net loss of SR880.7m in the first nine months of 2013, against a profit of SR420.8m in same period last year.
“Net loss for nine month period ended 30 September, 2013 .....is mainly due to two blackout incidents of independent water, steam and power production facilities from the service provider and the maintenance work on the ethane cracker during April and May, 2013 thereby causing the reduction in sales,” it added.
Analysts said Petro Rabigh's Q3 results were significantly below market expectations.
"These prolonged and frequent maintenance have raised concerns that the company has technical issues at its plant, which might lead to further unplanned shutdowns in the near future," one Dubai-based analyst said.
Petro Rabigh started operations at its $10bn complex in 2009. Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical each have 37.5% stake in the joint venture, while the rest of the shares are publicly held.