Sales Rise for S-Oil, SK, MJL


The seasons first earnings reports showed positive trends for Asian lubricant players for the initial quarter of 2014. S-Oil and SKs base oil and lubricant operations rebounded strongly from poor performance in the first quarter of 2013, while Bangladeshs MJL Ltd. posted increases in sales and profits.

S-Oils operating income from base oils reached 52.6 billion won (U.S. $50.9 million) for the first three months, up 270.1 percent from 14.2 billion won in the year-earlier period. Revenue totaled 528.7 billion won, up 22.2 percent from 432.8 billion.

Base oil sales volumes rose 17 percent, the Seoul-based company said, and it expressed a positive outlook for the second quarter. Lube base oil spreads will remain at a solid level, supported by heavy maintenance shutdowns and stable demand from major markets, it said.

SK, also based in Seoul, reported that first-quarter operating profit for SK Lubricants was 66.3 billion won, up 772 percent from 7.6 billion won in the same period of 2013. Sales for the base oil and finished lubricants division rose to 747.1 billion won from 628.4 billion won, up 18.9 percent.

In its earnings presentation, SK said it expected the API Group III base oil market to gradually expand, driven by an economic recovery and higher fuel efficiency requirements. The company also expects demands for Group III to recover as the peak season of lubricants approaches.

MJL said revenue from its lubricant operations rose 6.2 percent in the first quarter compared to the first three months of 2013. The company recorded lubes revenue of 1.6 billion taka (U.S. $21 million) during the first 3 months of this year. Sales of locally blended products swelled 3.1 percent to 833 million taka, while sales of imports jumped 10.4 percent to 810 million taka.

MJLs total income increased 37 percent to 290 million taka, thanks to a combination of revenue growth and cost reductions. Lubricants account for 85 percent of the companys revenue. Separately, MJLs Board of Directors authorized the spending of up to 151 million taka for construction of a 10-story commercial building in Chittagong, the main commercial seaport of Bangladesh and location of the companys lube blending plant. The company is based in the capital city of Dhaka.

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