Qatar Currency - File photo
DUBAI - 9 August 2017: Profit at petrochemicals, metals and fertilizer conglomerate Industries Qatar shrank 47 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter of 2017 as sales declined, an earnings statement released on Tuesday showed.
Quarterly profit dropped to 682 million riyals ($187 million) from 1.292 billion riyals, as revenue slid to 918 million riyals from 1.284 billion riyals, Reuters calculated based on the company's first-half statement. The company did not provide a quarterly breakdown.
Analysts polled by Reuters had on average predicted a quarterly profit of 787 million riyals.
"The performance in some segments, in particular the operational performance of polyethylene and fertilizer segments, was affected due to some planned and unplanned maintenance during the first half of 2017," the company said.
Prices of polyethylene and fuel additives have risen since last year but fertilizer prices are roughly flat and prices of steel have declined slightly, it added.
Earnings may also have been affected by economic sanctions imposed by other Arab states on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of backing terrorism.
This disrupted imports into Qatar during the month of June and hindered some exports, although Doha has been arranging new shipping routes and the long-term effect of the sanctions on Qatar's economy is expected to be minor.
"The group is closely monitoring the effect of the blockade and is amending the flow of operations and activities when deemed necessary," Industries Qatar said. Operating performance is expected to improve because of cost control schemes, it said.
In the first half of this year, Industries Qatar's profit fell to 1.610 billion riyals from 1.989 billion riyals a year ago, while revenues dropped to 2.025 billion riyals from 2.431 billion riyals.