South Korea’s second largest oil refiner GS Caltex Corp. swung back to a profit in the first quarter ended March thanks to a surge in the value of inventories driven by a hike in global oil prices.
According to the holding company GS Holdings Corp. on Wednesday, GS Caltex’s consolidated operating profit reached 329.5 billion won ($280 million) in the January-March period, reversing from an operating loss of 267.0 billion won a quarter ago and gaining 17.4 percent from a year earlier.
Its bottom line also swung back to a profit of 87.3 billion won from the previous quarter, but the figure lost 51.6 percent against a year ago. Sales fell 18.1 percent on quarter and rose 2.0 percent on year to 7.95 trillion won.
The strong first-quarter performance was largely driven by the petroleum business, according to the company.
Operating profit from its oil refinery business added 27 percent from the previous year to 187.3 billion won on spike in oil prices that has sent up the inventory value. Profits from the petrochemical business soared 90.7 percent on year to 127.6 billion won, but the lubricants business down 78 percent to 14.6 billion won.
On the back of the strong first-quarter performance of refinery unit GS Caltex, GS Holdings posted an operating profit of 512.7 billion won for the first three months, up 23.9 percent from three months ago and down 7.8 percent from a year ago. Its net profit gained 10.5 percent on quarter but shriveled 24.4 percent on year to 205.8 billion won, while sales were up 2 percent on quarter and 4.6 percent on year to 4.42 trillion won.
On Thursday, GS Holdings shares closed 3.31 percent lower at 49,700 won in Seoul trading. GS Caltex is unlisted.
By Kang Doo-soon and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]