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SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- Lotte Chemical Corp., the petrochemical unit of South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group, said Friday its first-quarter earnings tumbled nearly 80 percent due to high oil prices and sluggish demand.
Consolidated net profit stood at 116.6 billion won (US$90.8 million) in the January-March period, down 78.3 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
Sales climbed 34 percent to a record quarterly high of 5.58 trillion won, with operating income nose-diving 86.8 percent to 82.6 billion won.
Compared with three months earlier, revenue expanded 8.3 percent and operating income shot up 180 percent.
Lotte Chemical's first-quarter operating profit was 39.5 percent higher than the average estimate in a survey by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data firm of Yonhap News Agency. The estimate of net profit was not available.
Lotte Chemical said its first-quarter profitability was hampered by such negative factors as a spike in international oil prices and China's coronavirus lockdowns of major cities.
The company said it has somewhat limited room for improved profitability for the second quarter due to a large-scale regular repair of its factory in the southern port of Yeosu amid volatile market conditions.
Lotte said it will seek to boost profitability in the coming quarter by selling more high value-added products, improve cost competitiveness and strengthen its capabilities in future business areas.
Shares in Lotte Chemical ended 2.39 percent higher at 192,500 won on the Seoul stock market Friday, outperforming the broader KOSPI's 2.12 percent gain.
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