Fri, 18 Jan 2008
Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

State oil and gas company PT Pertamina may have booked a staggering Rp 23 trillion (around US$2.5 billion) net profit in 2007, on the back of high crude oil prices and the company's efficiency programs, its president director says.

The figure is still an estimate as the official financial report will be formally issued on Jan. 30, when the company is scheduled to hold its annual shareholders' meeting.

The figure, which represents an 8.5-percent rise from the Rp 21.2 trillion it posted in 2006, would be the biggest net profit ever posted by an Indonesian company.

"This is a windfall profit, resulting from a surge in global oil prices and also due to good results coming from our efficiency programs," Ari Sumarno said Thursday during the company's weekly meeting with reporters.

He also revealed Pertamina's investment plan for 2008, in which the company would allocated Rp 21 trillion for business operations.

Up to Rp 14 trillion would be spent on the upstream sector, while the remaining Rp 7 trillion would be allocated to the downstream sector, he said.

Among the projects in the pipeline for this year is the revamping of the Balongan refinery in West Java, which will cost around US$300 million.

In addition, Ari said, the company is in the process of auditing and verifying its assets inventory, which the firm hopes would be completed by the end of this month.

Although Pertamina became a limited liability company in 2003, it has not had an audited balance.

Therefore, upon completion of the ongoing audit, Ari said, Pertamina would rearrange its previous financial reports since 2003 accordingly.

The company will consider issuing global bonds later in the year to raise funds for further investment.

"With the current economic condition, we think that (global bonds) will be more favorable than syndicated loans," Ari said, without elaborating.



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