Phoenix Petroleum, the country’s third largest oil player, returned to profitability in the third quarter with a net income of P296 million, following a net loss of P5 million in the second quarter.It attributed the growth to the company’s focus on cost discipline along with a more stable oil price environment.Phoenix reported a 42-percent increase in total volume in the third quarter from the same period last year as overseas demand almost tripled and domestic business recovered from the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in the second quarter.It said overall volume increased 23 percent from 2019.Overseas volume was led by subsidiary, PNX Petroleum Singapore, which emerged as a strong regional player by broadening its portfolio with liquefied petroleum gas last year. Overseas LPG volume also grew by 8 percent from the previous quarter through Phoenix Gas Vietnam, as the country became one of the first to reopen its economy amid the pandemic.Leveraging on a supply partnership with Hengyi Industries, LPG Vietnam grew its volume threefold since Phoenix’s acquisition of the business last year.Meanwhile, domestic volume increased by 14 percent quarter-on-quarter as the community quarantine restrictions on travel and movement continued to ease nationwide.Retail led the recovery with a 36-percent sequential volume growth in the third quarter. Phoenix said even with public transportation yet to be fully restored to normal, retail sales already reached 80 percent of pre-COVID volume.It said close to 100 percent of Phoenix’s retail network was under regular operations, with total station count at 665 as of end-September.
LPG now comprises 17 percent of Phoenix’s domestic volume, up from 10 percent in the same period last year. Growth accelerated with cylinder sales already exceeding pre-COVID levels, experiencing double-digit growth.The lockdown-resilient demand for LPG was supported by competitive supply and sustained expansion of Phoenix’s Luzon distribution network and complemented by its strong foothold in the Visayas and Mindanao.Phoenix said that in terms of commercial business, volume was relatively unchanged from the previous quarter but continued to be sustained by the mining, fishing and power sectors, which were less affected by the strict enhanced community quarantine restrictions.FamilyMart, Phoenix’s convenience store retailing business, also improved from a dip in May with average checks almost doubling from a year ago.The company said it remained committed to its priority to preserve resources. Operational expenses per liter went down by 22 percent in the third quarter from the previous year.It said it realized close to P1 billion in cost savings and at least P1.5 billion in capital expenditure rationalization this year.“Our mission to become an indispensable partner in the journey of our customers, employees and communities is more relevant than ever today as we navigate our way through the uncertainties together. With the support and confidence of our stakeholders, including creditors and suppliers, we will be able to return working capital and liquidity to optimal levels and accelerate growth,” said Phoenix president Henry Albert Fadullon.The company said it was moving forward with new innovations and milestones. Based on the latest data from the Department of Energy on fuel market share as of the first half, Phoenix is now the third largest in the country.