Mexican national oil company Pemex said on Wednesday its net profit almost halved in the first quarter to $3.15 billion, as weaker sales outweighed lower costs and currency gains from a stronger peso.
In a securities filing, Pemex said profit declined from about $6.2 billion in the year-ago period due to lower sales, a sharper deterioration of fixed assets, and some weaker revenue streams.
Overall revenue fell about 18% to 418.4 billion pesos, or $23.2 billion at the end-March exchange rate.
Mexico's biggest company also revised its fourth-quarter loss downward by about 45%, to 96 billion pesos from 172 billion pesos in February. It did not cite the reason.
Pemex's refineries processed an average of 835,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude during the quarter, while total oil output, including condensate production, averaged 1.85 million bpd, according to the filing.
Fuel oil output made up the largest share of refined product production, reaching 300,000 bpd - its largest average volume in at least a year - and surpassing gasoline output of 270,000 bpd in the quarter.
Fuel oil, an especially dirty fossil fuel, is increasingly used by state power company CFE to generate electricity.
In a call with analysts after the results were released, Pemex CEO Octavio Romero touted the performance of the company's new oil fields, which he said had contributed some 543,000 bpd, helping to reverse a longstanding slide in output.
Pemex, one of the world's most indebted oil companies, closed the first quarter with $107.4 billion of financial debt, down slightly from the end of 2022.
The filing said it is "possible" that Pemex will not need government support to meet its regular 2023 debt payments of $4.6 billion.
Last month, a senior Mexican finance ministry official told Reuters the government would allow Pemex to defer around $2 billion in profit-sharing taxes it owed, in an effort to boost its cash flow and help it pay down debt.
Pemex Chief Financial Officer Carlos Cortez told analysts the company is discussing with the finance ministry the possibility of extending the deferral through next year.
($1 = 18.0201 pesos by end-March)
(Reuters - Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and Adriana Barrera; Additional reporting by Valentine Hilaire; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Jan Harvey and Richard Chang)