(Trinidad Guardian, 19.Jul.2018) – Petrotrin chairman Wilfred Espinet said cost reduction initiatives undertaken by the interim executive team installed at the energy company resulted in a second quarter profit after tax of $85.6 million.
“The installation of a new executive team from the beginning of March and the implementation of the strategies developed together with experts’ advice produced noticeable results in reducing cost and cutting waste,” he said.
“The mandate given to the board, to make Petrotrin a sustainable profitable entity, through proper governance and management of a competitive business, is planned in three phases: Survive, Thrive and Grow.
For the past three months, the focus was on the first phase, “Survive”. Discretionary spending that was not adding tangible benefits to the operations was reduced and we concentrated on cutting waste.”
Espinet said results for the period ended June 30 followed a loss of $517.5 million for the quarter ended March 31.
Recently published results showed a decrease in the state owned company’s operating costs of $92.4 million when compared to the same quarter last year and a decrease of $41.9 million when compared to the quarter ending March 31.
In addition, Petrotrin earned $18 billion in revenue for the nine months ending June 30 —a 21.2 per cent increase with the corresponding period in 2017, which Espinet was due to higher oil prices.
He said in a statement accompanying the financial results: “Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased to $1,767.4 million, or 80 per cent more than the 2017 result for the comparable period. Despite the enhanced operating results, the Group incurred a loss before tax of $242.8 million which translated to a loss after tax of $500.7 million,” the chairman said.
Petrotrin’s asset base decreased to $31.6 billion compared with $37.4 billion for the corresponding period in 2017.
Espinet explained: “This was primarily because of the write down of our fixed asset balance for an impaired asset and the reclassification of previously capitalised borrowing cost on the ULSD project to expense.
Total debt to equity and current ratios as at June 30, 2018, were 3.49 and 0.52 respectively, compared to ratios of 1.07 and 0.41 as at June 30, 2017.
“Shareholder’s equity of $3.3 billion as at June 30, 2018, represented a decrease of 69.73 per cent when compared with the period ending June 30, 2017.”
The chairman said Petrotrin is embarking on the next phase of its restructuring programme, Thrive, where the focus will be on “designing the organization built for purpose around its operational units.”
He added: “As we embark on this phase, we will consult with all stakeholders to garner support for what is undoubtedly a monumental exercise that will have a profound impact on all the citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago.
“The board is encouraged by the level of support and extraordinary efforts from employees and is committed to finding a sustainable solution that is equitable to all stakeholders.”