Sinopec’s profit falls 13pc on weaker prices

China’s largest oil refiner Sinopec (0386) saw its net profit fall about 13 percent to 58.3 billion yuan (HK$63.87 billion) in 2023 from a year ago due to decreased energy prices, and announced a final dividend of 0.2 yuan apiece.This was the second year of declines after its net profit hit a decade-high in 2021 amid surging oil and gas prices.The final dividend increased 2.5 percent although the total dividend for last year was 2.8 percent down, with the dividend payout ratio at 75 percent.

Capital expenditure amounted to 176.8 billion yuan last year, 6.5 percent less than the year before. The exploration and production segments cost the most, followed by chemical.Capital expenditure is planned to shrink 2.1 percent to 173 billion yuan this year, with the expenditure planned for the chemical segment to lower 16.9 percent because of excess supply “due to newly-released production capacity” in 2023.

The planned annual production of crude is 279.06 million barrels, of which 26.65 million barrels are from overseas. Annual natural gas production is projected to be 1,379.7 billion cubic feet.China’s petroleum and chemical company expected international oil prices to fluctuate in a medium-to-high range this year due to changes in global supply and demand, geopolitics and inventory levels.

It came as China’s largest nitrogenous fertilizer manufacturer, China Blue Chemical’s (3983) net profit, increased 45 percent to 2.38 billion yuan and the company kept the final dividend of 0.2 yuan.However, without the gain from the disposal of subsidiaries, its revenue would have dropped 9 percent to 13 billion yuan.Revenue of the Urea, Methanol, and Phosphorus and compound fertiliser all dropped due to decreased products prices.