Global chemical company Saudi Basic Industries Corp. has posted a 7 percent year-over-year decline in first quarter sales at 37.37 billion Saudi Arabian Riyals ($42 billion), due in part to slowing demand and relatively high inventory levels.
Challenging market conditions, including lower petrochemical prices, negatively impacted the company's first quarter results, Yousef Al-Benyan, vice chairman and CEO for the Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based company, said.
Despite lower sales, Al-Benyan maintained that the company had delivered "robust performance."
Sabic registered a 5 percent rise in net profit income at SR3.41 billion ($3.8 billion), compared to the final quarter of 2018.
"We continued to deliver strong operational performance, including the highest quarterly sales volumes over the last four quarters," he noted.
Commenting on Sabic's ongoing process of structural transformation, underway for over three years, Al-Benyan said that the company was progressing with the carve-out of its specialities business.
In addition, Sabic is merging the operations of its subsidiaries Sadaf and Petrokemya in a bid to bring more efficiencies and boost competitiveness.
This transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.
The CEO also touched on Sabic's sustainability efforts, saying the topic was a "key focus" for the company.
Sabic signed an memorandum of understanding with United Kingdom plastics recycler Plastic Energy at the end of 2018 for the supply of recycled petrochemicals feedstock.
"Since then, we have reached another significant milestone in the production of certified circular polymers using a feedstock produced from mixed plastic waste," Al-Benyan added.
Sabic is also one of the 27 founding members of "the Alliance to End Plastic Waste", a global initiative launched by major plastics makers and consumer goods makers to address the growing plastic litter issue.