Saudi petrochemical firms combined profit down in Q1

25 Apr 2015

(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia’s first-quarter corporate earnings were generally weaker than expected, a sign that foreign investors should be cautious as the stock market opens up to them this year, Arab News reported.

Total first-quarter profit of 12 listed petrochemicals firms more than halved annually on the plunge of oil prices since last June, which has dragged down petrochemical product prices and hurt margins.

Combined profit was 16.8 percent below the average forecast of analysts, even though Saudi Basic Industries, the biggest firm in the sector, beat estimates with a 38.9 percent profit drop.

Shrinking earnings at petrochemical firms were the main reason for a drop of total profits at all listed Saudi companies combined in the first quarter. They fell 22 percent to USD5.8 billion.

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