Saudi petrochemicals giant SABIC on Monday posted its second quarterly loss in a row for the three months to March, blaming low prices and a slump in demand due to coronavirus. SABIC, one of the world’s largest chemical firms, said it made a loss of 950 million riyals ($253 million) in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a net profit of $909 million in the same quarter last year. SABIC, the second-largest listed firm in the kingdom after energy giant Aramco, reported a loss of $192 million in the fourth quarter last year.
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It attributed the latest loss to “certain non-recurring charges, a challenging product-pricing environment and lower demand underpinned by Covid-19.”
“Product prices remain challenged with no improvement in the supply/demand balance for key products in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarter,” chief executive Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan said in a statement. This was further aggravated by COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic and the significant decline in Brent (oil) price towards the end of the quarter,” he said.
SABIC, which was acquired by Saudi Aramco for $69 billion last year, saw its 2019 net profit slide 74 percent to $1.5 billion. In 2018, it posted a net income of $5.74 billion.
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