Sabic third-quarter profit drops on sales prices, China

Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the Middle East’s biggest petrochemicals company, reported a 6.8 per cent drop in third-quarter profit due to lower selling prices for its products and slower growth in major markets including China. Net income dropped to 5.22 billion riyals ($1.39 billion) from 5.6 billion riyals a year earlier, the Riyadh-based company said in a statement to the Saudi stock market, beating the average estimate of 5.15 billion riyals forecast by nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sabic’s profit has declined for nine consecutive quarters. The results were “very good,” given global market conditions, and European factories became more profitable, Chief Executive Officer Yousef al Benyan said at a news conference in Riyadh. The company’s difficulties included higher utility costs and an economic slowdown in China, and its average selling prices fell 11 per cent, he said. Sales slid by 11 per cent to 33.31 billion riyals. (Vivian Nereim and Sam Wilkin/Bloomberg)

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