RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) posted a record net profit of 5.4 billion riyals (1.43 billion dollars) in the third quarter of 2006.
The third quarter’s results were 19 percent higher than profits in the second quarter and 12 percent more than those of the corresponding period in 2005, a SABIC statement said.
But the total net profits of the largest petrochemicals producer in the Middle East in the first nine months of 2006 have dropped by 3.5 percent to 14.2 billion riyals (3.78 billion dollars), it said.
SABIC chief executive officer Mohamed al-Mady said the operating profits of the first nine months of 2005 amounted to 24.8 billion riyals (6.60 billion dollars) compared to 24.7 billion riyals (6.57 billion dollars) of the same period a year ago.
“Recent profits reflect the improvement in the prices of most products in parallel with the rise in sales to 29 million tons, an increase of eight percent compared to the corresponding period of the previous year,” he said.
SABIC is the biggest public company in the region, with a capitalisation of more than 100 billion dollars, and one of the world’s 10 largest petrochemicals manufacturers.
The Saudi government owns 70 percent of SABIC, with the remaining 30 percent held by private investors in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Its profits increased in 2005 to a record 5.1 billion dollars, 35 percent up from 2004.
SABIC’s European arm operates two petrochemical plants in the Netherlands and Germany, and employs some 2,450 people.