Profit leaps 80 pct at Saudi’s SABIC in Q1 as product prices improve

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Net profit at Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world’s biggest petrochemical producers, jumped 80 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter of 2017 on the back of higher sales prices for its products.

SABIC, which is majority state-owned, made a net profit of 5.24 billion riyals ($1.40 billion) in the three months to March 31, up from 2.91 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement on Monday.

That was in line with the forecasts of analysts polled by Reuters, who had on average predicted that SABIC would make a quarterly profit of 5.35 billion riyals.

Gross sales for the first quarter totaled 36.95 billion riyals, up 10 percent from 33.47 billion riyals a year ago.

The company’s results are closely tied to oil prices and global economic growth because its products - plastics, fertilizers and metals - are used extensively in construction, agriculture, industry and consumer goods manufacturing.

Like other Saudi companies, SABIC began reporting its results under international IFRS accounting standards this year, so some of its figures for the first quarter of 2016 were restated. Last year, it reported a net profit of 3.41 billion riyals for the quarter.

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