MANILA, Philippines - Oil refiner Petron Corp.said its net profit in the first half jumped by a hefty 64% from a year ago to P2.96 billion.
In the second quarter, Petron's earnings went up by 10% from a year earlier to P1.029 billion.
Petron said its first half earnings were boosted by higher sales.
"The significant improvement in the company's bottomline was fueled by higher domestic sales and better margins from petrochemical feedstocks coupled with the reduction in interest expense and translation gains on dollar-denominated transaction," the company said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday.
From January to June, Petron's revenues grew by 50% to P115.35 billion from P76.67 billion last year due to higher average selling price per liter. Oil prices stood at P29.61 per liter this year from P21.97 per liter last year.
Sales volume jumped by 12% for the period to 24 million barrels from 21.4 million barrels.
"Stable crude oil and finished product prices resulted in better margins this year compared to last year as most of the products sold came from expensive crude in 2008," Petron said in its statement.
Petron runs a 180,000 barrels per day refinery in Bataan, the biggest in the country. Its refinery produces a full range of petroleum products and supplies nearly 40% of the country's total fuel requirements.
The oil industry leader is controlled by San Miguel Corp. Other stockholders include Ashmore Group, Petron Corporation Employees' Retirement Plan and other minority shareholders.