Industries Qatar QSC, the Persian Gulf nation’s biggest petrochemicals company, posted a bigger-than-expected 38 percent drop in first-quarter profit.
Net income fell to 1.59 billion riyals ($420 million) from 2.55 billion riyals a year earlier, according to an e-mailed statement from the company. The mean estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a profit of 1.81 billion riyals, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Plant shutdowns for maintenance “was a driver” of the financial results, said Bobby Sarkar, head of research at Qatar National Bank Financial Services, who predicted a first-quarter net income of 1.68 billion riyals, according to Bloomberg data. “This quarter had significant scheduled shutdowns, especially in urea,” he said in a phone interview.
Industries Qatar planned to shut its plants for a combined 200 days this year, with urea and ammonia facilities each accounting for 40 days, according to a Jan. 19 statement from the company. That compares with a combined 51 days in 2013.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals maker, also missed analysts’ estimates when it reported first-quarter profit of 6.44 billion riyals on April 20.