OIL firms returned to profitability at end-September this year as they recovered from the challenges brought about by the pandemic since last year. 

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation reported Friday its net income stood at P3.4 billion by end September, a  reversal fom P13.9 billion loss in the same period last year. This despite the mobility slowdown resulting from the two-week Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) implemented in NCR and select provinces last August, and the succeeding Alert 4 restriction.

“Our renewed strategy has been proven effective for our business to thrive amidst the resurgence of selected lockdowns in the country. We are continuously growing our capacity for the remainder of 2021, to prepare for the near and medium-term demand pick-up as active new COVID cases decline, vaccination programs accelerate, and travel restrictions ease,” said Pilipinas Shell President Cesar Romero. 

While marketing volume declined in the third quarter by six percent due to increased lockdowns, the oil firm’s successful marketing programs and premium product offerings across businesses helped boost its overall financial performance.

It reported that mobility’s premium fuel penetration increased to 31 percent; lubricants business grew by 36 percent; and aviation volumes recovered over 60 compared to the same period last year, driven by an increase in passenger flights as domestic and international flight restrictions ease.

Its non-fuel retail business recorded a 28-percent improvement in operating profit at end-September. It has 156 Shell Select stores, 219 Select Express, 72 Deli2Gos, and 424 Lube bays. 

Pilipinas Shell said its P2.2-billion capital expenditure program (capex) is on-track, approximately 68 percent of which is spent on network expansion. It was able to put up 25 new mobility sites from January to September this year.  The rest was used for supply chain maintenance and upgrades, in preparation for demand resurgence.

Meawnhile, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc.’s January to September net income shoot up to P170 million, a turnaround from the P95-million net loss posted a year ago.  Bulk of the P170 million was recorded in the second quarter at P132 million.

In the third quarter of this year, Phoenix continued to exceed pre-pandemic volume despite stricter mobility restrictions during the period. Revenues shoot up by 81 percent year-on-year while net operating income grew by 78 percent year-on-year to P1.64 billion.

Year-to-date overall volume also rose 33 percent from the prior year led by growth in the domestic B2B segment and the overseas trading business.

Also, its LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) grew 35 percent behind a steady growth in cylinder sales accelerated by the increasing contribution from the new canister business. Meanwhile, overseas volume increased 37 percent driven by growth in the trading business.   

“We are proud of the sustained growth in the third quarter. This is the product of the team’s hard work for the past 18 months as we position the business stronger during the pandemic, and aim for growth as the economy emerges from it,” said Phoenix President and Chief Executive Officer Henry Albert Fadullon.      

Phoenix is expecting to perform better this year compared to last year’s net income of P63 million mainly due to improving market conditions. “As quarantine restrictions are eased, and more economic activity is expected during the holidays, we are looking forward to capping off the year with an even more vigorous business performance,” added Fadullon.

Early this week, Petron Corporation reported 
a net income of P4.99 billion at end-September this year versus a net loss of P12.6 billion in the same period, driven by stronger revenues as government eases lockdown restrictions. 

The oil company reported stronger volume and revenues in the second and third quarters of the year. Year-to-date sales of 59.2 million barrels matched last year’s level of 59.5 million barrels. 

During the period, local sales of Petron’s lubricants grew by 28 percent, retail station volume increased by nine percent, and petrochemical exports likewise exhibited substantial growth with sales increasing by 68 percent.

Efforts to reduce costs and yield more savings also contributed to Petron’s continued financial recovery. “Despite external challenges, sustaining the financial resilience of the company has helped ensure that we have the means and the capacity to continue growing the business while providing our investors with the best returns. These include strategic investments in our service station expansion, refinery enhancements, and supply chain management. We are looking forward to ending 2021 in a much stronger and stable position than last year,” added Ang.

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