• International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) posts $1.5bn profits in 2014
  • This is 30 per cent below 2013 profits
  • Result was due to lower oil prices, as Ipic’s upstream oil business made a loss

Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) made profits of AED5.6bn ($1.5bn) in 2014, down 30 per cent, or AED2.3bn, on 2013 profits of AED7.9bn.

Ipic attributed the drop in profits to lower oil prices, which have affected the entire GCC economy. “The volatility in 2014 across multiple market and product segments tested and proved the resiliency and consistency of Ipic’s portfolio” said Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei, managing director of Ipic, in a press release. “Especially in a year of falling oil prices and difficult economic conditions, Ipic’s balanced portfolio helped navigate and surpass the market.”

Al-Mazrouei replaced Khadem al-Qubaisi as managing director in April. Al-Qubaisi was also chairman of the local Aabar Properties and troubled construction company Arabtec Holding, in which Aabar is a major shareholder.

The company’s revenues fell 3 per cent year-on-year, from AED194bn to AED188bn. The falls in revenue and profit were offset by new acquisitions and a low euro.

Ipic acquired Thailand’s Coastal Energy, registered in the Cayman Islands, through Spain-based oil and gas subsidiary Compania Espanola de Petroleos (Cepsa). It also created a new company, Cosmo Abu Dhabi Exploration and Production, which allowed Cepsa to begin oil exploration and production in Abu Dhabi.

Cepsa’s revenues fell 4.9 per cent to $34.8bn, due to lower oil prices. The subsidiary, along with Vienna-headquartered OMV, drives Ipic’s upstream oil business, which makes up 38.9 per cent of its assets. The sector made a loss in 2014.

Downstream and non-oil business remained in growth. The non-energy investments, led by Aabar, increased profits by 22.7 per cent to $146m.

Ipic paid down 16 per cent of its debts in 2014, to reduce them from $16.9bn in 2013 to $14.2bn.

“We continue to embrace our long position in the hydrocarbons sector,” said al-Mazrouei. “[We] will look to add key, high-quality assets focused in the upstream, speciality petrochemicals, and oil field services spaces, with the goal to enhancing portfolio quality and capitalising on already realised and realisable scale and integration opportunities and synergies.”

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