Bumper dividend for government
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KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PETRONAS) will raise its annual capital expenditure (capex) to about RM60bil to support its decarbonisation targets as well as paying for rising cost pressures.
The national oil company (NOC) also announced it will pay the government another RM25bil in dividends in the second half of the year, which takes its total dividend paid for 2022 to RM50bil in total, the second highest dividend paid in the past three years.
President and group CEO Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik said the extra dividend was declared in response to a request from the government and after taking into consideration the company’s financial resources and obligations, as well as its strong financial year so far.
“PETRONAS’ strong performance in the first half of 2022 demonstrates our commitment to undertake all necessary measures to remain resilient even as we sustain commercial and operational excellence in all our business operations, in the face of the increasingly volatile global environment.
“We aim to secure energy security for the country and look at opportunities for growth,” he said at the release of the group’s first half (1H22) results yesterday.
Putrajaya is shouldering a RM78bil subsidy bill for the year which economists had speculated would be partly funded by a higher dividend payout from PETRONAS.,
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The 2022 payout is double the RM25bil dividend declared in 2021 by the NOC and is the second highest historically since the RM54bil dished out in 2019. The extra payout means PETRONAS paid out all the RM48.6bil net profit it made in financial year 2021.
This was possible as strong energy prices and boom in demand post-Covid-19 lockdowns enabled PETRONAS to enjoy a significantly improved second quarter (2Q) ended June 30, 2022, with its net profit rising 139% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM23bil as revenue surged 63.6% y-o-y to RM93.4bil.
For the cumulative six months of 2022, earnings stood at RM46.4bil versus RM18.8bil in 1H21 while 1H22 revenue amounted to RM172.1bil as compared to RM109.6bil in 1H21.
The bulk of the improved financials for the period came from a significant improved performance from its upstream business (crude oil sales) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) business, while its downstream business grew at a more modest pace in the period.
Muhammad Taufik expects that to continue, as he sees demand-supply dynamics to remain bullish and energy prices to remain elevated this year.
“We expect 2H22 crude oil prices to range between US$90 and US$95 (RM426 and RM403) a barrel before gradually easing in 2023 as demand supply fundamentals improve,” he said.
PETRONAS total assets rose 10% year-to-date to RM699.5bil while shareholder equity rose 7% to RM75.6bil for the same period.