Driven by higher sales volumes in associate companies and new facilities operating at capacity, Industries Qatar (IQ) posted a full-year net profit of QR8bn in 2013, the group announced in Doha yesterday. Although net profit was down QR0.4bn or 5.1% compared to 2012, the full-year earnings last year were the "second highest on record", IQ said. The QE-listed industrial giant announced a cash dividend of QR11 per share, which is equivalent to a total payout of QR6.7bn. In a statement IQ chairman and managing director HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, also the Minister of Energy and Industry, said, "Industries Qatar closed the year that ended in December 2013 with strong full-year earnings of QR8bn following the record-breaking 2012 results with the second highest net profit on record. This clearly shows the group's ability to generate strong profits and cash flow even during the difficult international market conditions experienced during the year." This financial year was also "noteworthy" for two other reasons, al-Sada said. Firstly, it marked the first full-year of operation for QR12.8bn of petrochemical and fertiliser facilities (launched during 2012), which added 2mn tonnes per year (tpy) of urea and 240,000 tpy low-density polyethylene (LDPE) to the group's existing capacity, increasing the overall production capacity from 13.7mn tpy to 16mn tpy. Secondly, the group's credit ratings by Standard & Poor's and Moody's were maintained at AA- and Aa3 respectively in the companies' annual reviews - placing IQ one notch beneath Qatar's sovereign rating, and in a very select group of international industrial conglomerates. "These resolute financial results serve to vindicate the previous decisions of the board of directors to invest heavily in improving the efficiency of existing facilities and in expanding capacity, and lend support to the future investment plans as outlined in the recently announced group growth strategy - sustained growth throughout the commodity cycle can only be assured through judicious, yet bold, investment in improving capacity," al-Sada said. On the 2013 financial results, Abdulrahman Ahmad al-Shaibi, IQ chief co-ordinator said, "The group recorded strong year-on-year sales volume growth following the launch last year of new petrochemical and fertiliser facilities, while also maintaining exceptional petrochemical and steel EBITDA margins. Results, however, were adversely impacted by continued significant fertiliser price deflation, in line with international trends, and heightened fertiliser operating costs following increases in natural gas rates under the supply and purchase agreement with Qatar Petroleum." Reported revenue for the full year was QR5.8bn, a decrease of QR0.3bn, or 5.4%, on the restated results of 2012. However, on a "like-for-like" basis under the previous accounting standard, reported revenue would have been QR19.3bn, an increase of QR0.6bn or 3.1%. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year was QR8.2bn, a decrease of QR0.5bn, or 5.1%, on the same period last year. "Benefits gained from higher sales volumes following the commercial launches of Qafco 5, 6 and LDPE-3, weak prior year comparatives due to extended fuel additives shut-downs in 2012 and improved operating results at several of the group's local and regional investments, were offset by general price weakness and increased fertiliser and, to a lesser extent, petrochemical, operating costs," al-Shaibi added. QR5.4bn capex planned over 5 years The Industries Qatar Group has budgeted about QR5.4bn on capital expenditure and major investments over the next five years to ensure the company's continued growth for the benefit of its valued shareholders, said chairman and managing director HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada. The group envisages the completion of construction of all its current major projects including a 2mn-tonnes-per-year integrated steel mill in Algeria and Al Sejeel Petrochemical Complex in Ras Laffan. "The IQ board of directors and senior management look forward to 2014 with renewed confidence as the group expects to benefit from capacity additions in the steel and petrochemical segments," al-Sada said.