Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has reported a quarterly decline in profits, with chief executive Muhammad al-Mady blaming the economic slowdown in Europe and China. With the company already planning to restructure its European operations, including the shutdown of some plants, Mr Mady reiterated to reporters in Riyadh on 20 July the company’s interest in joining the US shale gas boom as a way of countering anticipated market developments.

In a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) on 12 July, SABIC reported 2Q13 net profits of SR6.04bn ($1.61bn), almost 8% down on the SR6.56bn ($1.75bn) posted in 1Q13 but 14% up on 2Q12. Operating profit for 2Q13 was SR9.97bn ($2.66bn), down from SR11.05bn ($2.95bn) in 1Q13 but an improvement on SR9.45bn ($2.52bn) for 2Q12 (see graph). (CONTINUED - 668 WORDS)