SABIC profits beat expectations


Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), the world's largest chemical firm by market value, beat estimates with a 46 per cent rise in third-quarter profit, buoyed by higher plastic and petrochemical sales.

Sabic made a net profit of US$1.42 billion in the three months to September 30, up from more than US$9.7 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected an average of US$1.3 billion in third-quarter net profit.

They said the rise in third-quarter profits stemmed from an increase in production and sales as well as an improvement in the prices of most petrochemical and plastic products. A drop in the dollar against the euro helped profitability.

The Saudi riyal is pegged to the greenback. Third-quarter operating profit was up 41 per cent, a slowdown from the second quarter, when it was 124 per cent above its level a year earlier at around US$2.4 billion. Sabic's earnings are seen as a yardstick for rivals such as Dow Chemical and Germany's BASF.

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