Malaysia's Petronas posts lower profit, warns of market volatility

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Malaysian state oil firm Petronas said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit slumped 71%, hurt by impairment costs and lower prices of major products.

Petronas said profit after tax for the October-December period fell to 4.1 billion ringgit ($968.12 million) from 14.3 billion ringgit in the same period a year earlier. Excluding impairment charges, profit totalled 9.2 billion ringgit.

Revenue at the firm, formally known as Petroliam Nasional Berhad, slipped 8% to 64 billion ringgit.

Petronas said the outlook for oil and gas remained bearish due to geopolitical uncertainties, trade tensions and near-term demand disruptions from the new coronavirus outbreak.

“The board expects the financial performance for 2020 to be affected by these factors,” the company said.

Petronas is the only manager of Malaysia’s oil and gas reserves, and is the world’s third-biggest LNG exporter after Qatar and Australia. ($1 = 4.2350 ringgit) (Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; editing by David Evans)