Hong Kong: Top Asian oil refiner Sinopec Corp posted a near doubling in quarterly profit on Sunday, its first gain in more than a year, as a steep decline in crude oil prices fuelled a surge in refining profits.
But the world’s second-largest refiner after Exxon Mobil posted a first drop in annual profit in 7 years, with full-year net a little over half what it was in 2007, as soaring crude oil prices in the first half and low state-capped fuel prices squeezed margins.
The firm had flagged to investors that its 2008 net profit would fall around 50%.
October-December net profit was 13.3 billion yuan, versus 6.71 billion yuan a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations, beating a forecast for 7.94 billion yuan from 15 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.
Full-year net profit fell to 29.7 billion yuan from 56.5 billion yuan in 2007.
The state-owned refiner’s fortunes have shifted in recent months after crude prices dropped sharply and Beijing moved to hike fuel prices, guaranteeing higher profit margins.
Sinopec shares are up 29% this month, helped by the fuel price hike, while PetroChina has gained 20% and CNOOC is up 23%.