Global economic weakness continued to take a toll on the profits of Saudi refining and petrochemical companies last year. While in some cases startup issues and maintenance outages were also to blame, most firms saw 2012 profits trimmed by lower product prices.

Of the 14 companies from the sector trading on the Kingdom’s Tadawul stock exchange, 11 were profitable in 2012, but of those, seven saw profits fall from year-ago levels (see table). Comparing 4Q12 results with 4Q11 shows that half improved their profitability. (CONTINUED - 708 WORDS)