Sales by China's state oil company have soared as the number of vehicles on its roads multiplied
PetroChina's profits rose by just 2.3 percent in 2007 as government controls blocked it from passing on record-high crude costs to consumers, though a Chinese auto-buying boom drove a 21 percent jump in total sales.
Earnings were 145.6 billion yuan (US$20.5 billion) on revenues of 835 billion yuan (US$118 billion), said state-owned PetroChina, the country's biggest oil company.
Profits were squeezed by a 20.1 billion yuan (US$2.9 billion) loss at PetroChina's refining unit due to a government freeze on retail gasoline and diesel prices, the company said.
"During the second half of 2007, international crude oil prices rocketed and as a result, domestic refineries incurred heavy losses in processing," said a PetroChina statement. It said supplies of gasoline and other refined goods were "very tight."
Sales by China's state oil company have soared as the number of vehicles on its roads multiplied. Demand for plastics and other petroleum products is growing rapidly amid a long-running boom that propelled economic growth to 11.4 percent last year.