SK Energy's Petrochemical division swings to massive operating loss in Q4

SK Energy, Korea's leading energy and petrochemical companies, posted a Q4 2008 sales revenue of KRW 9.87 trillion, a 20.3% increase from the KRW 8.2 trillion reported a year ago. Operating profit for the quarter rose by 44.7% from the previous year's KRW 186 billion to KRW 269 billion in 2008 owing to strong performance in the petroleum and lubricants business. However, SK Energy's petrochemicals division swung to a Q4 operating loss posting KRW 148 billion, a 295% quarter-on-quarter decrease due to the bearish petrochemical market conditions as worsening global market conditions reduced demand and narrowed spreads leading to lower product prices. Due to the loss in the fourth quarter, operating profit of the segment for the full year showed a 75.4% year-on-year decrease to KRW 125 billion. Nevertheless, the division recorded an increase in sales for the full year, up by 39.7% to KRW 10.36 trillion.
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