China's Sinopec Q3 profit up 60 pct on year, but down from record Q2

BEIJING, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Chinese oil and gas major Sinopec’s net profit rose to 18.38 billion yuan ($2.64 billion) in the third quarter, up 60 percent from a year earlier, on robust refining margins and improving earnings from crude oil and gas production.

The figure was down, however, from a record high of 22.83 billion yuan in the second quarter, company filings to the Hong Kong stock exchange showed on Tuesday night.

The quarter-on-quarter decline came after Sinopec’s profit grew for five consecutive quarters. It could increase concerns that a glut in fuel markets and the higher cost of crude oil, amid looming sanctions on Iran and U.S-China trade tensions, is hurting the performance of Asia’s largest refiner.

In the first nine months of 2018, net profit was up 56 percent at 59.98 billion yuan, Sinopec said in its filing.

Its third-quarter revenue was 772.7 billion yuan, a 33 percent increase from a year earlier. Revenue for the first three quarters reached 2.07 trillion yuan, up 18 percent from the year earlier period.

The company’s crude production continued to drop despite higher crude prices. Sinopec produced 216 million barrels of crude between January and September, down 1.7 percent from the year earlier period.

Its natural gas output in the first three quarters grew 6 percent to 714 billion cubic feet.

$1 = 6.9648 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Mark Potter