PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp. posted a net income of P3.53 billion in the first quarter, more than three times the earlier year’s P1.02-billion profit, which the listed energy company said placed it on track with its five-year plan.

“Pilipinas Shell remains steadfast and committed to our strategy of powering progress for the country, as opportunities are opening with a recovering economy,” Lorelie Quiambao-Osial, its president and chief executive officer, said in a statement on Thursday.

“Customer-centricity, innovation, agility, and our initiatives for sustainable energy are all designed to meet our expanding customers’ current and future needs with the resurgence of safe mobility,” Ms. Osial added.

In its financial report filed with the stock exchange, Pilipinas Shell reported gross revenues of P59.98 billion in the first three months of the year, higher by 48.4% from P40.43 billion a year ago.

Gross expenses were higher by 47% to P54.8 billion from P37.27 billion previously.

Pilipinas Shell said it had maintained a reliable supply of fuels for its customers despite industry supply chain pressures in the first quarter.

During the period, it saw a significant increase in global oil prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine war and heightened mobility restrictions due to the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Despite the pandemic, the company’s lubricants business expanded by 12% in terms of volume while premium sales volume rose by 24%.

Aviation sales volume recovered in 2022 with a 74% growth, as domestic and international borders reopened for passenger and cargo flights. But sales volume was not yet at pre-pandemic levels.

“Pilipinas Shell intends to accelerate its strategies throughout this year by growing, continuing to invest in and responding to the growing energy needs of the Philippines,” the company said.

Non-fuel retail gross margin during the quarter rose by 27% year on year to reach its highest quarterly performance level since 2016. The company now has 191 Shell Select stores, 223 Select Express sites, 78 deli2go stores, and 456 Lube bays nationwide. These outlets serve the “evolving mobility and purchasing behavior” of customers, the company said.

Pilipinas Shell said its loyalty program Shell Go+ has reached 1.3 million in membership.

In April, the company broke ground for its fourth import terminal in Brgy. Darong, Sta. Cruz, Davao. The facility is expected to strengthen the existing value chain as well as support the growing energy needs in southern Mindanao. Its three other import terminals are in Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, and Subic.

“The terminal also enhances the company’s responsiveness and reliability during typhoons and natural calamities,” it said.

“This year, the energy company will advance its sustainability agenda by continuing to drive its businesses to help contribute to the reduction of its carbon footprint while promoting its lower carbon products and offerings,” Pilipinas Shell said.

On Thursday, shares in the company rose 2.35% or 40 centavos to close at P17.40 apiece. — Victor V. Saulon