KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 – Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd’s net profit jumped 31 per cent to RM102.34 million in the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2023 (2Q) against RM70.47 million a year ago on the back of a high average realised oil price.

Revenue, however, dropped to RM627.55 million from RM713.13 million previously, mainly dragged by additional expenses incurred for the ongoing underwater pipeline inspection campaign.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the oil and gas company said the North Sabah segment delivered relatively healthy profit margins in 2Q on the back of a higher average realised oil price of US$92.83 per barrel attained for the 351,350 barrels of crude oil sold.

The gross profit (GP) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) margins were at 65.5 per cent and 45.1 per cent respectively.

The Kinabalu division also recorded favourable operational metrics, achieving an average net oil production rate and operating expenses per barrel were 4,096 barrels per day and US$16.65 respectively.

“The favourable operational performance achieved was largely attributable to the positive impact derived from first oils achieved for the KNWD-18 infill well in August 2023 followed by the KNWD-08ST1 infill well in October 2023,” it noted, adding that both wells produced 3,300 barrels per day, above the target of 2,600 barrels per day.

Overall, the segment attained an EBITDA of RM86.5 million in 2Q after charging supplemental payment and Sabah state sales tax of RM10.4 million and RM7.4 million respectively.

Meanwhile, the PM3 Commercial Arrangement Area (CAA) contributed RM147 million to the group’s EBITDA in the quarter amid the high average realised prices attained for the sale of both crude oil and gas.

For overseas operations, it said the United Kingdom (UK) segment’s GP and EBITDA margins were 64.5 per cent and 49.1 per cent respectively.

The unit’s operational performance was impacted by the shut-in of the GUA-P5 well since May 2023 due to a hydraulic oil supply issue to the subsurface safety valve and Anasuria floating production storage and offloading up to 15 days to allow the execution of a planned maintenance scope.

The move has resulted in a relatively low uptime of 83 per cent and an average daily oil equivalent production rate of 2,118 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day.

Hibiscus said the Australia segment’s profit after tax was impacted by the Australian dollar to the US dollar foreign exchange, impacting the quarter’s end revaluation of US dollar-denominated inter-company payables.

The group said despite the fluctuations in oil prices, it has managed to remain profitable, primarily as the average unit production costs for its producing assets have been below the average realised oil price at the relevant times.

“The group believes it is well-positioned to build on its successful operational track record which has been developed in Malaysia and the UK, and it remains focused on delivering optimal performance in a strong oil price environment.

In a separate statement, Hibiscus said it expects to sell a total of 7.7 million barrels of oil (MMboe) for the financial year ending June 30, 2024 (FY2024). The total oil, condensate and gas sold in FY2023 amounted to 7.1 MMboe.

The company targets to declare a minimum total dividend of 7.5 sen per share in FY2024.

It has declared a second interim single-tier dividend of 2.0 sen per ordinary share for FY2024, bringing total dividends to 4.0 sen to-date.


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