Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the biggest petrochemical companies globally, on Tuesday said it pivoted to a net loss of 2.77 billion riyals ($739 million) in full-year 2023 from a net profit of SAR16.53 billion in the year-ago period.

For Q4 2023, SABIC made a net loss of SAR1.73 billion, SABIC said on Riyadh's Tadawul bourse.

The net profit missed analysts’ mean estimates of net profit of SAR2.33 billion for FY 2023 and SAR596.3 million for Q4, according to LSEG data.

The company attributed the net loss to discontinued operations amounting to SAR4.08 billion, driven mainly from the fair valuation of its subsidiary Saudi Iron and Steel Company (Hadeed) amounting to SAR2.93 billion, as well as its lower financial performance during the current year.

Sales revenue was down 23% at SAR141.5 billion, mainly due to the decrease in average selling prices and quantities sold, which was impacted by the slow global demand for petrochemicals as supply increased.

CEO Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh said: “The petrochemical industry navigates a challenging operating environment – underwhelming demand within our target markets led to lower year end product prices and there remains considerable uncertainty heading into the first quarter of 2024."

He said the company was committed to deploy between $4 to $5 billion in capital expenditure in 2024.

He added that SABIC will strive to maintain dividend distributions to shareholders without compromising the robust balance sheet.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Bindu Rai)