Thai Energy Giant PTT FY Profit Up 43% At $4.3B, Beats


BANGKOK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Thai state-owned oil and gas giant, PTT Pcl reported a 43 percent rise in net profit to 135.2 billion baht ($4.29 billion) for its 2017 fiscal year thanks to higher selling prices for oil and a strong performance at its chemical and refining businesses.

PTT beat expectations of 127.47 billion baht based on a Reuters survey of 19 analysts.

Its the petrochemical and refining businesses improved following higher global crude oil prices and an increase in the gross refining margin (GRM), PTT said in a statement.

Lower feed costs of natural gas and improved selling prices helped operating income at its gas business grow 30.7 percent to 70.5 billion baht.

Its petrochemical subsidiary, PTT Global Chemical, and its refining unit, Thai Oil, also reported strong earnings.

Operating income from exploration and production rose 46.4 percent from a year earlier to almost 50 billion baht due to higher oil prices and lower depreciation expenses from an increase in petroleum reserves.

PTT's upstream arm, PTT Exploration and Production Pcl reported net profit of $594 million, 60 percent higher than a year ago.

Last month, Royal Dutch Shell sold its 22 percent stake in the Bongkot field for $750 million. PTTEP has said that it would participate in the auction of the petroleum concessions in the Gulf of Thailand, slated to take place in March.

PTT expects the Thai economy to maintain its growth momentum this year but cautioned risk of delay in disbursement of government funds.

($1 = 31.5100 baht)

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng, editing by Louise Heavens)


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