For the first quarter of 2015, publicly-listed Pryce Corporation posted a growth in sales volume of 68% year-on-year for its principal product, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which comprised 91% of total sales. The volume sold reached 32,981 metric tons (MT) compared to the year-before figure of 19,628 MT. In Peso terms, however, sales revenue for LPG move up by only 4.62% to P1.23 billion. The disparity in growth rates stems from the substantial drop in the international contract price (CP) of LPG which is also the basis of pricing LPG in the domestic market - falling from an average of US$951 per MT in the first quarter of 2014 to $466.33 per MT a year later, or decline of 51%
Consolidated revenues, including those from industrial gases, fuels, real estate, and hotel operations totaled P1.346 billion, which is an increase of 3.67% from P1.298 billion, registered in the firts quarter of 2014
Gross income for the quarter under review amounted to P333.08 million, an improvement of 55.31% from the year-ago figure of P214.47 million. Despite the lower selling price of LPG, gross margin rose to 21.9% of sales from 13.7% of the previous year, due precisely to the dramatic drop in international contract price which outpaced the decline in local retail prices. Gross margin for industrial gases also rose from 44.28% to 51.84% showing the company's ability to protect profit margins in the face of stiff competition.
Income from operation amounted to P178.87 million compared to the previous year's P32.38 million while net income before tax reached P158.08 million, higher by 342.62% from the previous year's P35.72 million. Provision for income tax is computed at P29.92 million resulting in a net income after tax of P128.16 million for the quarter, a five-fold improvement from the P25.0 million registered a year ago.
The LPG market in the country is highly competitive but the company has a well-established business and well-built infrastructure for continuing growth. It has a big market footprint in the Visayas and Mindanao and an expanding one in Luzon. Its prospects for growth may be deemed specially bright in Luzon because Pryce is a relative newcomer in Luzon, which comprises roughly 80% of the LPG business in the country. Click Here for Disclosure Details