OR upbeat on prospects for rest of the year
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OR upbeat on prospects for rest of the year

A PTT petrol station operated by OR.
A PTT petrol station operated by OR.

PTT Oil and Retail Business Plc (OR) remains optimistic about a better business performance during the remainder of this year, driven by growing tourism despite a drop in revenue for the energy business during the first quarter.

Total sales and services decreased by 7.6% year-on-year to 178 billion baht in value for the company.

Wilaiwan Kanjanakanti, vice-president for finance at OR, attributed the decline to lower sales in the company's mobility business, which includes fuels and energy solution services, though the average selling price increased.

Fuel sales decreased by 7.5% year-on-year to 6.48 trillion litres. A drop in diesel sales was not offset by a significant gain in jet fuel sales, as tourism activities increased, she said.

The sales were in line with overall fuel consumption in Thailand from January to March.

Jet fuel usage soared by 19.1% year-on-year during the period while consumption of gasoline and gasohol decreased by 0.2% year-on-year, partly resulting from the end of excise tax cuts and the price subsidy programme on Jan 31, according to the Department of Energy Business.

Total demand for diesel in the country decreased by 6.9% year-on-year, down from 76.4 million litres per day in the first quarter of last year when power companies used diesel for electricity generation as a substitute for expensive liquefied natural gas imports.

Pitirat Rattanachote, OR's vice-president for investor relations, expects the company's revenue to increase later this year due to more foreign tourist arrivals.

The number of foreign visitors is estimated at 35 million this year, up from 28 million in 2023, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

"Though the numbers are lower than 41 million recorded before the pandemic, it is considered a good prospect for our business," said Ms Pitirat.

OR believes the Dubai crude oil reference prices will stand at between US$79-89 per barrel on average this year while the domestic economy is expected to grow by 2-3%.

The company said its marketing margin in the fuel business, which refers to revenue made by oil retailers after deducting costs, should be 0.7-1.2 baht per litre.

OR plans to allocate 23 billion baht to increase the number of petrol stations and Cafe Amazon outlets by 100 and 350, respectively, as well as acquire new non-oil assets.

In February, OR also ventured into the health and beauty business by partnering with Sugi Holdings, a Japanese drugstore chain and nanotech platform operator, to run a shop selling health and beauty products, scheduled to open in Bangkok in the third quarter.

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