SABIC posts rare loss for Q4 2019

The company's net profit for the full year also dropped drastically by 74%

SABIC, Saudi Aramco
Olivier Lantzendorffer

Saudi petrochemicals giant SABIC said on Wednesday it posted a rare loss in the fourth quarter of last year, due to low prices and the allocation of a huge emergency provision.

The world's fourth-biggest petrochemicals firm posted a net loss of 720 million riyals ($191.94 mn) after tax, mainly due to lower average selling prices.

SABIC swung to the loss from a profit of 3.22 billion riyals ($859 mn) during the same quarter a year earlier, the company said in a bourse filing.

The loss was also due to a 2.8 bn impairment provision at its affiliate Arabian Industrial Fibers Co (Ibn Rushd), it said.

"Despite an uptick in Brent oil prices in the fourth quarter, the results were negatively impacted by a further decline in petrochemical prices driven by oversupply in the key products and slowing global growth coupled with seasonal impacts,” SABIC said in a statement.

For the whole of 2019, Sabic net profit dropped a massive 74%, the company said, also citing lower prices and allocation of emergency provisions.

"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 Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan said in a statement.

EU antitrust regulators will decide by Feb. 27 whether to clear state energy firm Saudi Aramco's 2222.SE $69.1 billion acquisition of SABIC, according to a European Commission filing.

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