Malaysia's Petronas posts 2.4 pct fall in Q1 net profit

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 Wed Jun 5, 2013 5:00am EDT

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 (Reuters) - Malaysian state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) posted a 2.4 percent year-on-year fall in first quarter net profit as margins declined as a result of higher expenses.

Petronas, which finances nearly half of Malaysia's government budget, said on Wednesday its net profit for the three months ended March 31 fell to 20.4 billion ringgit ($6.59 billion) from 20.9 billion ringgit a year ago.

Margins for its refining and trading businesses fell during the quarter, along with demand for its downstream products, Petronas said. This was partially offset by a decommissioning adjustment during the quarter.

Revenue in the quarter climbed to 76.68 billion ringgit from 75.25 billion ringgit in the first quarter of 2012.

($1 = 3.0945 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)