State energy holding company Pertamina expects to book US$677 million in net profit in the first quarter of 2019, about 91 percent higher than the net profit in the same period of last year, which was recorded at around $390 million.

Pertamina finance director Pahala N. Mansury told the press on Thursday the jump in net profit was supported by better performance in the upstream and downstream business lines.

“The performance of our upstream business was better, while the downstream business was supported by a better ICP (Indonesian Crude Price) and the currency exchange rate,” Pahala said, adding that the average global Brent crude price stood at around $60 per barrel in the first quarter of 2019.

A measure to absorb the larger domestic oil output also supported the net profit increase because the company imported less fuel products such as avtur and diesel-fuel.

Pahala was less optimistic about the second quarter performance, saying that the ICP had been gradually moving up in April, May and June to around $67 to $68 per barrel.

“The projection in Q2 will not as better as in Q1 due to the higher ICP. It will affect our profitability [in the downstream sector],” he said.

Pertamina aims to book $1.5 billion in net profit this year, a 2 percent yoy growth. Meanwhile, the capital expenditure was set at around $5 billion to $5.7 billion. (bbn)