Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim reports significant profit amidst gas supply disruptions in 2023
Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited, a company listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange, has disclosed its financial results for the full year 2023 (January – December 2023), revealing a striking increase in profits despite enduring significant operational hurdles. The company announced a profit after tax of PKR 4.403 billion ($15,7mn) for the year, marking an 89% surge from the PKR 2.328 billion ($8,3mn) recorded in the same period last year. This substantial growth was achieved amidst persistent challenges in gas availability, which has been a pressing issue for the fertilizer sector.
The company attributed its resilient performance to concerted management strategies, which included enhancing supply chain economics, enforcing strict cost controls, improving plant efficiencies, and maintaining financial discipline. These measures effectively countered the adverse impacts of gas supply disruptions, propelling the company towards a profitable year.
However, the gas supply issue remained a predominant challenge, significantly affecting the company’s production capabilities and contributing to broader agricultural challenges, including product shortages and price manipulations. To mitigate the shortfall, the government resorted to importing 220,000 metric tonnes of urea from international markets.
The company’s urea plant operated at merely 52% of its intended 650,000 metric tonnes capacity, primarily due to gas curtailment. The received gas supply was a mere 13,714 MMSCF, starkly lower than the government-allocated level of 23,800 MMSCF and 28% less than the previous year’s supply. Consequently, urea production plummeted by 36%, resulting in significant economic strains, including currency fluctuations, heightened borrowing costs, and volatile international phosphatic fertilizer prices.
Despite these challenges, Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim managed to increase its revenue to PKR 193 billion ($688,48mn), a 21% growth, with a gross profit surge of 29% at PKR 33 billion ($117,72mn). However, financial burdens persisted, with increased finance costs, exchange losses, and tax expenses, the latter exacerbated by a retrospective hike in the super tax rate.
Looking forward, securing consistent gas supplies remains a critical priority for the company. It underscores the importance of government intervention to ensure stable gas allocations to the fertilizer sector, which would significantly benefit the agricultural community by ensuring the availability of fertilizers at reasonable prices and reducing the reliance on costly imports.
Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim is set to conduct its Annual General Meeting on March 25, 2024, where these issues and the company’s future strategies are expected to be key points of discussion.