KUALA LUMPUR: National oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is dipping into its reserves to fork out RM30bil in dividend payment to the Federal Government this year.
This was despite the group’s announcement yesterday that it posted a 23.2% drop in net profit. The net profit was RM40.3bil, with a lower revenue of RM216.4bil for the financial year ended March 31, 2010.
Despite tough operating conditions, Petronas would be maintaining its dividend payment this year, Petronas president and chief executive officer Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas told a press conference here yesterday. The dividend payment accounts for about 74% of Petronas’ net income.
Petronas is crucial to Malaysia’s economy as it provides almost half of the Government’s budget revenue through dividends and taxes. To date, Petronas has returned RM529bil to both the Federal and state governments. In addition, it also bore a cumulative gas subsidy of RM116bil.
For the year under review, Petronas’ grand total payments to Federal and state governments were down at RM57.6bil from RM74bil a year earlier as a result of lower taxes of RM10.7bil, given lower profits.
Petronas’ gas subsidy was also lower at RM18.9bil compared with RM19.5bil last year.