RIYADH (AFP) – Falling global oil prices dragged down the net income of Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC by 29 per cent in the fourth quarter, the company said on Sunday.
SABIC, the largest publicly traded firm in the Gulf, reported net profit of 4.36 billion riyals ($1.16 billion) for the three months to December.
That compared with 6.16 billion riyals in the same quarter a year earlier.
“The decrease in net income is mainly attributable to lower average sales prices, partially offset by lower costs for certain feedstocks (raw materials),” a statement from Saudi Basic Industries Corp said.
The result was lower than the mean estimate of 5.39 billion riyals forecast by seven analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Full year net profit was 23.43 billion riyals, a drop of seven per cent from the $25.28 billion reported the previous year.
Mohamed Al-Mady, the company’s vice chairman and CEO, called the year-end profit figure “a good result for us.”
But he said the current environment of falling crude prices creates uncertainty.
“It’s going to be very difficult to judge the 2015 situation, just because of crude oil,” Mady told reporters.
SABIC is one of the world’s largest petrochemicals manufacturers, producing chemicals, fertilisers, plastics and metals.
Global crude prices have fallen by more than 50 per cent since June on worries over global oversupply and weak demand growth.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter.