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KUALA LUMPUR: Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd's operating profit jumped 60% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM138.2mil in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2020, due to a better polymer products spread on improved demand.

It said in a statement that the improved product spread offset the lower sales revenue of RM1.94bil, which was 11.82% lower from the comparative quarter last year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased to RM279mil from RM244mil a year ago.

The earnings improvement during the quarter was primarily owing to the improvement in average polymers product margin spread amid lower naphtha feedstock costs following the fall in Brent crude oil price in April, said the group.

Plant utilisation was also enhanced upon completion of a major statutory turnaround.

However, net profit for the quarter was 13.7% lower at RM78.77mil from RM91.3mil in the previous corresponding quarter due to foreign exchange revaluation loss and a higher share of losses from its US associate.

“Year-to-date, our business is now back in the black and had since observed operational performance turnaround with continuously improving gross profit margin trends.

"The above achievements are now testament to our strong business and operational fundamentals, which will ensure our business

sustainability during this very challenging period”, said president and CEO Lee Dong Woo.

Moving forward, the group reiterated its vision to become a top-tier petrochemical company in Southeast Asian by 2024.

"Our long-term strategy to ride through these challenging periods will include optimizing plant operations to increase our production output, improving our business competitiveness in light of industry competition and enhancing our business sustainability and governance to solidify our long-term business viability, without compromising on the needs of our people, stakeholders and the environment.

"As LOTTE Chemical Titan embarks into the future, the Company strives to continue maintaining its business resilience and strengthen the ability to deliver on its value creation promise,” said Lee.