(ATTN: ADDS closing stock price at bottom)
By Kim Seung-yeon
SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) -- S-Oil Corp., South Korea's No. 3 oil refiner, said Thursday its net income surged by elevenfold in the third quarter from a year earlier, driven by strong sales of petrochemical and lube base oil products.
Net income came to 334.5 billion won (US$285 million) in the July-September period, compared with 30.3 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Operating profit reached 549.4 billion won, swinging to black from an operating loss of 9.2 billion won the previous year. Sales jumped 82.5 percent to 7.11 trillion won over the cited period.
The operating profit was 8.7 percent higher than the average estimate, according to the survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency.
The robust quarterly performance is largely attributable to increased sales in petrochemical and lube base oil sectors, buoyed by higher global oil prices, the company said.
Its high-quality lube base oil division posted a record quarterly operating profit of 288.8 billion won, accounting for 52.6 percent of the entire operating income, it noted.
Sales from the refining oil business reached 5.2 trillion won, with that of petrochemical products coming in at 1.18 trillion won. The lube base oil business logged 711.2 billion won in sales.
Inventory-related gains declined 37 percent to 88 billion won.
S-Oil, wholly owned by Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco, expected cracking margins in Asia to continue to improve on the back of strong demand for petrochemical products in the fourth quarter, as countries are reopening their borders after tough COVID-19 restrictions.
Shares in S-Oil fell 4.69 percent to 101,500 won, underperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.53 percent decline, due largely to profit-taking after weeks of gains amid higher oil prices.
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