Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world's biggest petrochemicals group, posted a 10% year-on-year fall in its first quarter net profit on Saturday and warned that growth would likely not improve until next year, as per Reuters. The dip in profits, in line with analyst expectations, was mostly due to lower production and sales volumes because of planned maintenance at factories of some affiliates. Net income for the three months to March 31 was 6.56 billion riyals (US$1.75 bln) compared to 7.27 billion riyals in the same period last year. SABIC's sales were 46.74 billion riyals, a 3.3% dip from the 48.34 billion riyals sales in Q1-2012. However, SABIC also said first-quarter profit had risen from 5.83 billion riyals in Q4-2012. It cited higher sales prices of some products, which it did not name.
"I am hopeful about the future but you need the time for shake out (of global economic difficulties), which is this year. Once we shake out these things, we will come back to good recovery in the next couple of years," said SABIC chief executive Mohamed al-Mady.