Dear Shareholders and Friends:
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the management and the entire staff, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our shareholders and the community for your interest and support.
In the face of complicated international situation, daunting challenges brought by the international oil prices fluctuating in a wide range, increasing demand for refined oil and petrochemical products and fierce market competition, adhering to the general principle of making progress while maintaining stability, following the new development philosophy and equirements for high-quality development, we fully exerted the advantages of the integrated value chain, initiated and implemented the phased goals for year 2020 and through year 2050, made great efforts in optimising operation, expanding market, reducing costs, controlling risks, deepening reforms, reinforcing management, and launching the Talent Empowering Enterprise Scheme. We successfully dealt with various risks and challenges, made progress in many aspects and pushed forward the sustainable development in an all-round way.
Over the past year, the Company’s profitability increased significantly. In accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards, our turnover and other operating revenues reached RMB 2.89 trillion. Profit attributable to equity shareholders of the Company grew by 20.2% year on year to RMB 61.6 billion, while the year-end liability-to-asset ratio was 46.21%. Taking into account the Company’s profitability, shareholder returns and the future development, the Board of Directors proposed a final dividend of RMB 0.26 per share. Combined with the interim dividend of RMB 0.16 per share, the total dividend for the year is RMB 0.42 per share with a dividend payout ratio of 82.5%.
Over the past year, we constantly improved the Company’s development quality by optimising production and operation, actively expanding markets, accelerating structural adjustment, and further promoting scientific and technological innovations, which strengthened our competitiveness. In upstream, we made great efforts to enhance oil and gas exploration and production and achieved domestic crude oil reserves replacement ratio of 131.7%. Meanwhile, we pushed ahead with the construction of natural gas production, supply, storage and marketing system, rapidly increasing natural gas production and sales volume. In refining, we optimised resources allocation, adjusted product slate to further lower diesel-to-gasoline ratio and successfully accomplished the quality upgrading of GB VI standard. In marketing, we gave full play to the advantages of integrated value chain and distribution network, actively responded to the fierce market competition and achieved continuous growth in both total domestic sales volume and retail scale. Moreover, the non-fuel business maintained rapid growth. In chemicals, we made great efforts in adjusting structure and pushing ahead with the integration of production, marketing, research and application. The share of high value-added products of three principal synthetic materials increased continuously and the total sales volume of chemicals soared. Moreover, a number of key projects supporting our long-term development progressed smoothly, which consolidated the development foundation. Several significant breakthroughs were made in the development of core technologies. Both patents applications and patents granted hit record highs. Meanwhile, we made solid progress in the integration of informatisation and industrialisation by actively advancing the development of smart factories, smart oil and gas fields, and smart service stations as well as e-commerce platforms such as Epec, ChemEmall and EasyJoy.
Over the past year, we consistently enhanced our corporate governance. The Company reelected the Board of Directors and the Board of Supervisors, appointed the senior management, and established the Nomination Committee. Independent directors played a better role. The Company improved the corporate governance structure. The regulation for the participation by the Party Organisation in corporate governance was improved, thus facilitating scientific decision-making. We made long-term development strategy and relevant execution plans and drew the road-map of building the company into a world-class enterprise in the new era. The continuing connected transactions for the next three years have been approved by shareholders, which safeguarded the Company’s stable operation.
Over the past year, we were determined to fulfilling our social responsibilities. Committed to mitigating climate change and keeping our skies blue, our waters clear, and our land pollution-free, we launched the Green Enterprise Campaign so as to vigorously develop clean energy and improve energy efficiency. We stepped up efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions and formulated a three-year plan for pollution prevention and control. Meanwhile, we reinforced our HSSE management system and the accountability system for safe operation and production, enhanced employees’ health and public security management. We achieved fruitful results by reinforcing targeted poverty alleviation, actively participated in various social and charity activities, disaster relief, the work related to the United Nations Global Compact and we were widely acclaimed by society.
Looking ahead, we face both opportunities and challenges. Global politics and economy are facing increasing uncertainties. China will still be in an important period of strategic opportunity for development. Energy production and consumption revolution will be accelerated, domestic oil and gas industrial reform will be further deepened, and demand for energy and petrochemical products will increase. Adhering to the general principle of making progress while maintaining stability and the requirements for high-quality development, we will accelerate the strategic plan of our phased goals for year 2020 through year 2050. Guided by “reform, management, innovation and development”, we stick to the operating principles of “specialised development, market-based operation, international layout and overall coordination”. By expediting the upgrading of traditional business, strengthening extensive business, fostering new business, and building new green advantages, we will fully exert the specialised and integrated advantages and improved product and service quality with an emphasis on high-quality development. Meanwhile, we will make sure that staff develop together with the Company and the Company achieve harmonious development with society, which will help us achieve sustainable development in an all round way.
In 2019, the Company will adhere to the overall strategy of pursuing progress while maintaining stability, fulfill our due responsibilities and make more efforts in implementing our plans so as to lay solid foundation for sustainable development. Meticulous planning will be made to secure stable operation and to boost operational quality and profitability. Besides, we will strive to implement reform and to improve motivation and incentive mechanisms. Foundation will be consolidated, risk control will be strengthened, and operation and management standards will be further enhanced. In addition, we will strongly promote technological innovations to drive our future growth. We advance structural reform by building a solid resource foundation for sustainable development, strengthening the overall competitiveness of the value chain of refining and marketing businesses, and enhancing our capability in high-end production and value creation of chemical business. With an aim to build the Company into a green enterprise with high quality, we will make vigorous efforts in pollution prevention and environmental protection to raise the level of our green development. Moreover, we will explore and capture strategic emerging business opportunities through financial investments, thereby cultivating new growth drivers. The Company’s capital expenditure for 2019 will be RMB 136.3 billion, increasing 15.5% year-on-year.
Great aspiration and strong persistence will create remarkable accomplishments. I believe that with the joint efforts of the Board of Directors, the management and the entire staff, as well as the support from our shareholders and the community. Sinopec Corp. will surely stride ahead and create greater value for shareholders and the community.