Malaysia's Petronas Posts 39% Drop in 1Q Profit on Global Oil Slump


KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Reuters) – Petroliam Nasional Bhd , Malaysia's state oil company more commonly know as Petronas, reported on Friday a 39 percent drop in quarterly net profit due to a drop in benchmark crude prices.

Net profit was 11.4 billion ringgit ($3.18 billion) for the January-March period, compared to a profit of 18.8 billion ringgit in the same period in 2014, Petronas said.

Revenue for the quarter was 66.2 bln ringgit against 84 bln ringgit in the prior year period.

The company said quarterly profits were impacted by lower revenue due to a 50 percent drop in benchmark crude price, but was helped by higher processed gas trading and better LNG sales volume.

It maintained a projection for crude oil prices to average $55 a barrel in 2015.

Petronas will pay a dividend of 26 billion ringgit to the Malaysian government in 2015, lower than the dividend of 29 billion ringgit it paid in 2014.

Unlisted Petronas is Malaysia's only Fortune 500 company and accounts for most of the government's oil and gas revenue. ($1 = 3.5830 ringgit)

(Reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Writing by Praveen Menon; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)



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