Saudi SABIC Q4 net profit jumps 48 percent

A picture taken on January 17, 2016 shows the headquarters of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (AFP)

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the world’s largest petrochemicals groups, reported a 47.7 percent jump in fourth-quarter net profit on Thursday, at the low end of analysts’ estimates.

SABIC made a profit of 4.55 billion riyals ($1.21 billion) in the three months to Dec. 31, up from 3.08 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse statement. Five analysts polled by Reuters had forecast on average that SABIC would make a quarterly net profit of 4.94 billion riyals.

The company attributed the profit jump to a lower average cost of sales and lower selling, general and administrative expenses - the result of aggressive cost-cutting that the petrochemical giant conducted in response to low oil prices, which squeezed its profit margins.

SABIC said operating profit surged 67.2 percent to 7.29 billion riyals in the fourth quarter while gross profit gained 16.9 percent to 10.6 billion riyals.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53