Market heavyweight Industries Qatar (IQ) – a holding entity of Qatar Petrochemicals, Qatar Fertiliser and Qatar Steel – has reported a stupendous 52% year-on-year jump in net profit to QR5bn in 2018 on increased product prices and sales volume.
It has recommended 60% cash dividend to be approved by shareholders at the annual general assembly.
“Net profit grew significantly by 52%, a highly commendable financial and operational performance, albeit product prices came under pressure during the latter part of the year and some of the raw materials and energy costs have seen a significant increase,” IQ said.
Sales volumes have increased marginally on last year and reached a new record for the group, IQ said, adding production volumes remained stable despite some planned and unplanned maintenance within some of the facilities.
The group’s sales volumes have marginally increased on 2017 by about 4% and reached their highest levels since the group’s inception amidst a number of unplanned shutdowns in some production facilities and muted demand in some markets.
Sales volumes in the petrochemical segment improved on 2017, as the petrochemical production facilities returned to normal levels following unplanned outages in some of the facilities in early 2017.
Fertiliser sales volumes remained almost flat despite a few planned and unplanned outages, while those in the steel segment saw a significant growth on 2017 due to a change in the marketing and distribution strategy.
Highlighting that product prices have improved modestly by around 12% over 2017, IQ said recovery in the crude oil prices throughout most of 2018 has contributed for the slight improvement in the petrochemical prices.
Fertiliser prices have improved notably during the second half of 2018 due to increased demand from some of the large agricultural economies, increased raw material costs, and regulatory pressure on environmentally non-compliant producers.
Steel prices have shown a notable increase over 2017 primarily due to increase in raw materials costs and short supply of some key production related consumables.
Total revenues stood at QR5.8bn, showing a yearly increase of about 25%. “This significant year-on-year increase was primarily due to a combined effect of improved sales volumes and product prices in the group’s steel segment,” an IQ spokesman said.
On the other hand, on a like-for-like basis, management reporting revenue, assuming proportionate consolidation, QR16.3bn, which grew by 16% on 2017. This increase was due to a combined effect of increased sales volume and product prices.
The group’s financial position remains solid as total cash and bank balances across the group reached QR13.1bn, a new record for the group. Total debt across the group was at QR26mn as on December 31, 2018.
Net cash flow across the group for the year ended December 31, 2018 was approximately QR2.8bn. “The group’s operating cash flows were adequate enough to meet capital expenditure requirements, make debt repayment and pay 2017 dividends,” the spokesman said.
The board proposed a total annual dividend distribution for the year ended December 31, 2018 of QR3.6bn, equivalent to a payout of QR6 per share and representing a payout ratio of 72.2%.
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