China's Sinopec reports lowest quarterly profit since at least Q3 2016

BEIJING, March 24 (Reuters) - Sinopec Corp , Asia’s top refiner, posted its smallest quarterly net profit since at least the third quarter of 2016 after its oil trading unit Unipec registered one of China’s largest derivatives trading losses in nearly a decade.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, better known as Sinopec, said its fourth-quarter net profit plunged 76 percent from a year ago to only 3.1 billion yuan ($461.57 million). Its revenues increased 33 percent to 818 billion yuan during the same period, according to Reuters calculations.

Sinopec said Unipec posted a net loss of 4.02 billion yuan last year. Unipec lost 4.65 billion yuan on crude oil hedging in the fourth quarter.

For the full year of 2018, the state-owned company still managed robust growth. Net earnings of the company rose 23 percent to 63 billion yuan, the best annual results since 2013, and its total revenue of 2.89 trillion yuan compared with 2.36 trillion yuan a year earlier.

The strong growth in 2018 was mainly due to higher sales prices and volume of refined products and chemicals, the company said in a filing to Shanghai Stock Exchange on Sunday.

The company issued a dividend of 0.26 yuan per share.

$1=6.7162 yuan Reporting by Meng Meng, Min Zhang and Dominique Patton; editing by Neil Fullick