(EnergyAsia, Feb 25) — Pakistan State Oil (PSO) said its net profits jumped more than 23% to Rs 2.61 billion for the first half of the current financial year ended December 31, 2004. (US$1=Rs60).


The board of directors recommended an interim dividend of Rs 11 per share or 110% of the financial results.


The profits were within market expectations, but the dividend payout was a pleasant surprise to investors.


Mohammed Sohail, research director at Jhangir Siddiqui Capital Market, said PSO’s oil products sale were boosted by strong demand from power plants.


PSO’s net sales jumped 37.2% to Rs 102.4 billion while operating expenses were up 22.2% to Rs 1.9 billion. Its operating profit increased 32.8% to Rs 3.87 billion while profit before tax rose 27.7% to Rs 4.14 billion.