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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON: The CEO of petrochemicals giant SABIC said the industry was negatively impacted by rising supply in some key chemical products last year as the company reported annual profits of SR5.63 billion ($1.5 billion).
The Riyadh-headquartered company reported a rare loss of SR720 million ($192 million) in the fourth-quarter according to a statement posted on the Tadawul stock exchange on Wednesday.
“The petrochemical industry was negatively impacted in 2019 by additional new supply in key products coming on-stream coupled with a moderation in global growth compared to 2018,” SABIC CEO and Vice Chairman Yousef Al-Benyan told a press conference in the Saudi capital.
“However, our strong focus on cost controls and safe and reliable operations mitigated some of these negative factors in 2019.”
Al-Benyan said that despite the tough operating environment, the company had announced a dividend distribution of SR2.2 per share for the second half of last year, similar to the first half of 2019.
“Going forward our dividend will continue to be supported by a disciplined approach to capital allocation and by sustaining a strong balance sheet,” he said. “We are in a cyclical industry and the challenges are not new to SABIC. Our strategy is geared toward stable and long-term growth, and enables us to remain resilient to the headwinds.”
Al-Benyan identified sustainability and innovation as a continued focus for the company.
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