SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – SK Innovation Co., South Korea’s top oil refiner, on Friday said its earnings nearly doubled last year from a year earlier, thanks to better-than-expected results from its petrochemical business and expanded refining margin.
Net profit stood at 1.72 trillion won (US$1.49 billion) last year, compared with a profit of 868 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Operating income surged 63 percent on-year to reach a record 3.23 trillion won, while sales sank 18.3 percent to 39.52 trillion won over the cited period.
SK Innovation cited good performance at its petrochemical units and increased refining margin as the reason behind its improved bottom line.
Its operating income to sales ratio stood at some 8 percent last year, the highest since 2004.
Its non-refining business generated an operating income of roughly 2 trillion won last year. Its affiliates such as SK Global Chemical Co. posted good performance, SK Innovation said.
SK Innovation also said its refining unit logged an operating income of 1.9 trillion won.
SK Innovation said earlier this week that it has decided to take over Dow Chemical Co.’s ethylene acrylic acid (EAA) business for $370 million in a bid to diversify its business portfolio.
Earlier, SK Innovation said it would spend 3 trillion won this year to boost its chemicals and electric vehicle battery businesses.
The global market for the EAA, currently estimated at some 140,000 tons, is expected to grow at an annual rate of between 2 percent to 3 percent, it said.
SK Innovation closed at 156,500 won on the Seoul bourse, down 2.8 percent from the previous session’s close, as investors locked in recent gains, while the benchmark index, the KOSPI, gained 0.1 percent.