Petronas Dagangan closes 2019 with a sustainable growth trajectory

Malaysia's iconic Twin Towers are seen in the background of the Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas logo at a petrol station in Kuala Lumpur on August 13, 2014. Malaysian state energy firm Petronas is expected to announce its second quarter earnings later on August 13. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP / MANAN VATSYAYANA

PETRONAS Dagangan Berhad (PDB) closed 2019 with a commendable performance, achieving a Profit Before Tax of RM1,128.9 million and increasing its sales volume by 5 percent to 15.6 billion litres as compared to the previous financial year.

Despite a challenging operating environment, PDB managed to sustain its growth trajectory, a clear demonstration of the Company’s resilience in navigating through market adversities.

In keeping with the robust financial results for 2019, PDB had declared and paid a total dividend of 85 sen per ordinary share for the year 2019 representing a payout ratio of 104 percent.

The Company held its 38th Annual General Meeting on June 10 in a virtual setting, chaired by PDB’s Chairman, Datuk Md Arif Mahmood, who is also PETRONAS’ Executive Vice President and CEO Downstream, accompanied by PDB’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Azrul Osman Rani and PDB’s Chief Financial Officer, Farzlina Ahmad Murad.

Speaking about the Company’s performance, Azrul said, “We are pleased to have performed better than market expectations, owing to our focus on strategic marketing initiatives to push for volume whilst leveraging on our superior products and innovative solutions such as Setel. We were on the right trajectory as we saw an increase in demand for our products. The new PETRONAS Primax 95 with Pro-Drive, is a superior quality product that most of our customers have attested to and this has resulted in our highest sales volume since 2014.”

“Nevertheless, we are cognisant of the fact that 2020 will be challenging amidst the sharply declining petroleum product prices and challenges from the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. Our first quarter results were impacted by these external factors, but we anticipate a better outlook in the second half of the year as we are already seeing improvement in petroleum product prices and a slight growth in demand now, with the enforcement of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) relative to the MCO period. We are gearing up for the rebound when the market normalises.”

Moving forward, PDB will reinforce its financial strength for the near term by reducing non-essential spend, whilst continuing to invest in asset integrity and growth projects that are aligned with its long-term strategic priorities. This includes adding new stations, accelerating digitalisation and efforts to enhance revenue diversification.

Azrul said, “At PDB, we are adjusting to the new normal that is reshaping the operating environment and customer behaviour. We continue to identify untapped opportunities to expand our growth, such as providing more attractive food offerings at Kedai Mesra, and enhancing the Setel app, which is now recognised as the only refueling app in the market that helps minimise physical touch points – a clear advantage in this period of social distancing to minimise the spread of Covid-19.”

Underpinning its growth strategy is a solid foundation of operational efficiency, sound risk mitigation strategies, prudent cash management and a robust strategic investment approach to ensure long term business sustainability.

“We are optimistic that with our strong fundamentals and strategic growth plans, we will be able to ride this wave and emerge stronger,” he concluded.

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