The fall in profits has been attributed to the depressed state of the global petrochemical market. However, Sabic says that that the situation is improving, as highlighted by the large increase in profits in the second quarter over the first.

During the first half of the year, production was up by 4 per cent at 17.8 million tonnes a year (t/y) and sales volumes increased by 5 per cent to 14 million t/y. Total profits in 2001 were SR 1,782 million ($475 million), a fall of 51 per cent on the record of 2000, when the oil price, and therefore the comparative feedstock price advantage, was at its highest.

The company’s acquisition of DSM Petrochemicals, which was completed at the start of July, is not expected to have an impact on reported profits until the end of the year, the company says.