Speaking to reporters Petronas President and CEO Tan Sri Dato Seri Mohd Hassan Marican said, “Petronas Group of companies generated a record revenue of RM97.51 billion (US$25.66 billion) for the financial year ended 31 March 2004, a growth of 20% over RM81.43 billion (US$21.43 billion) recorded in the previous year. Group profit before tax grew by a rate of 40% to RM37.44 billion (US$9.85 billion), resulting in a 38.4% annual return on revenue compared to an average of below 15% amongst the supermajors.”
“The Group’s balance sheet continued to strengthen with total assets growing from RM178.01 billion to RM203.21 billion (US$46.85 billion-US$53.48 billion). Shareholders funds increased by 25% to RM97.6 billion (US$25.69 billion).
“Cash and fund investment balance, however, declined to RM53.79 billion (US$14.16 billion) from RM55.38 billion (US$14.57 billion) primarily due to the utilisation of funds for assets acquisition. Group borrowings decreased to RM57.73 billion (US$15.19 billion) from RM58.09 billion (US$15.27 billion) mainly due to the repayment of the US Dollar Note of US$500 million. The group’s total debt over assets ration improved to 28.4%, within the group policy of keeping debt below 30% of total assets,” added Hassan.
As for the future of the Petronas, Hassan sees the company striving for equilibrium while taking small, but sure steps in the global oil and gas sector.
“As a strategy, we try to achieve a balance between oil and gas, develop the domestic sector and reserves, and optimise our existing wells. Africa is a major focus for but we will not neglect domestic demand and our manufacturing sector,” said Hassan.
“Our future aspiration lies in deepwater and ultra-deep water drilling. We need to learn to be good. This is a high-tech industry and we are embarking on a learning process. We need the expertise and we will take a smaller stake [in the industry] at first and, as we get better, we will increase our stake,” he added.