(EnergyAsia, March 29) — Saudi Arabia’s SABIC said its board has approved a plan to distribute one bonus share for every three shares held, and pay a cash dividend of SR 15 per share. The plan will be submitted for approval by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting sometime next month.

            The company said its 2004 financial statement reflected record achievements in terms of profits and revenues. The company also became the world’s most profitable chemical company in terms of both net income and return-on-equity.

            The company said it recorded net profits of SR 14.25 billion, an increase of 112% over the previous year, and consolidated sales of SR 68.7 billion.

Earnings per share increased to SR 47 in 2004, compared to SR 22 in 2003 while return-on-equity increased to 31% compared to 18% previously.

            The board also ratified a recommendation to issue securities in an effort to diversify the company’s future financing resources.

            Mohammed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO, said the company will continue to generate excellent results during 2005 in light of analyst and economic forecasts, growing global demand for SABIC products, and the company’s continuing growth in production and sales.

            He added that profits realised in 2004 reflect the improvement of the global economy in parallel with the company’s intensive efforts to increase and improve the productivity and marketing in areas of the greatest competition.

            The company will further intensify the efforts of its research and technology unit to improve processes, and continue production and expansion projects to reach an annual production goal of 60 million metric tons by 2008.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is the largest company in the Middle East by market capitalisation (at US$ 23.4 billion) and the 11th largest petrochemicals manufacturer in the world. It is a market leader in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, glycols, methanol, MTBE and fertilisers.