Dear Shareholders and Friends:
In 2019, global economy slowdown while China’s economy remained overall stable. With international oil prices fluctuating within a wide range and new production capacity for refinery and petrochemicals being excessively released, market competition increased dramatically. As a result, the internal and external risks and challenges faced by the Company have increased significantly. In such a complicated and difficult market, with focus on both short and long-term goals in mind, the Board of Directors adhered to the guideline of pursuing progress while maintaining stability. Furthermore, it concentrated on modernizing the company’s corporate governance systems and capabilities, and deepening reforms to sustain continuous growth and development. Under the management’s leadership, our employees demonstrated dedication and a conscientious and responsible work spirit, and implemented all practices with discipline and in a professional manner. Significantly, the Company achieved better than expected operating results and made new progress in all fronts as we continuously deepened reform, exercised effective risk management, stabilised growth, and adjusted the operating structure while guaranteeing safety.
Progress achieved and stability ensured. In accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, our turnover and other operating revenues grew by 2.6% year-on-year to RMB 2.97 trillion while operating profit grew by 4.8% year-on-year to RMB 86.2 billion, and profit attributable to shareholders of the Company amounted to RMB 57.5 billion. The Company remained in a solid financial position with stable cash flow. In view of the Company’s funding requirements, return on equity, profitability and cash flow for future development, the Board of Directors recommended the payment of a final dividend of RMB 0.19 per share. Taking into account the interim dividend of RMB 0.12 per share, the total dividend for the year was RMB 0.31 per share, with a dividend payout ratio of 65.3%.
Corporate governance continuously improved. The Board of Directors enhanced its scientific approach to decision-making and optimised development strategies and implementation plans. The independent directors performed their duties and functions professionally, making great contributions to our sustainable development. The Company also revised and improved its Articles of Association and other governing documents, as well as implemented effective risk control measures. Additionally, the Company launched the Integrity Compliance Management Manual in its continued effort to further strengthen its compliance management system. Further, the Company deepened management system reforms and adjusted internal departments in an orderly manner so as to continuously improve our professional management. We attached great importance to shareholder returns, enhanced communications with stakeholders, and protected investors’ interests in an effort to consistently increase corporate transparency. Meanwhile, we strived to transform the advantage of Party building into our competitive business advantage through effective integration of these two efforts. The Company was awarded “Best Corporate Governance for a Publicly Listed Company” by the Golden Bauhinia Awards.
Quality improved in stable operation. We maintained safe and stable production operations, continued to deepen supply-side structural reforms and sped up the construction of key projects to ensure stable growth and improve the quality of the industry chain. As for the upstream business, greater efforts were made in oil and gas exploration, achieving satisfactory results in increasing reserves, stabilizing oil production, increasing gas output, and reducing costs. The domestic oil and gas reserve replacement ratio reached 138.7%, and market share of natural gas further increased. The refining and marketing businesses navigated through fierce market competition with product portfolio better adapted to market demand. Simultaneously, production and sales volume increased, and the pace of construction of comprehensive services and the application of artificial intelligence at service stations was accelerated. Underpinned by rapid growth of the overall volume and strengthening structural adjustment of the chemicals business, development of high value-added synthetic materials achieved remarkable progress. In addition, we actively nurtured new businesses and operations and provided new impetus for transformation and upgrading. Furthermore, we implemented innovation-driven development strategies, built joint innovation platforms, and achieved breakthroughs in major technologies and a series of R&D projects. The evaluation of the comprehensive advantages of our patents also continued to be at the forefront of our domestic enterprises’ efforts.
Corporate social responsibilities effectively fulfilled. We took proactive measures to combat climate change and implement green and low-carbon development strategies, as well as strived to develop clean energy. Green enterprise and energy efficiency upgrading campaigns were undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the ecological environment and biodiversity. We also took great care in implementing our HSSE management system that ensures safe production and occupational health, and protects the physical and mental health of all employees. We made greater efforts to implement targeted poverty alleviation and achieved fruitful results, including poverty alleviation programs focused on industry, education and consumption. To benefit as many people as possible, we actively and consistently participated in various social welfare initiatives. In addition, we honored the traditional and cultural characteristics of the communities where we operate, and regularly promoted economic development and environmental protection in the communities around our projects. In so doing, we fully demonstrated our commitment to being a responsible global corporate citizen, which received high recognition at home and abroad.
The hard-won achievements in 2019 were attributed to the arduous efforts and altruistic dedication of the Company’s Board of Directors, the Board of Supervisors, the management and the entire staff. Due to reassignment and retirement, Mr. Dai Houliang, Mr. Li Yunpeng, and Mr. Liu Zhongyun no longer hold positions in the Company. During their tenure, they worked diligently, fulfilled their duties and contributed greatly to the Company. In particular, Mr. Dai Houliang, former Chairman of the Board, made outstanding contributions and played an essential role in improving corporate governance, advancing reforms and innovation, and achieving sustainable growth. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of them!
At the beginning of 2020, the sudden outbreak of coronavirus struck China and impacted the global economy. Confronted with the outbreak, President Xi Jinping attached great importance to deploying relief actions by giving overall instructions directly. In response to the outbreak, the Company acted promptly and proactively. While maintaining stable production and operation, the Company gave full play to its industrial advantages, exerted full force to produce raw materials for medical and health supplies, and cooperated with related enterprises to produce medical supplies in urgent need, including masks and protective suits for affected areas. Moreover, with the advantages of our sales network, the Company spared no effort to guarantee the market supply of oil and gas, innovate service models, and enable the public to purchase articles for daily use conveniently, thereby making our contribution to win the battle against the virus.
Looking forward, the global economy will face more instability and uncertainty brought by the outbreak. Although the virus may temporarily impact the Chinese economy, we firmly believe that China’s solid economic fundamentals will remain unchanged and the country’s potential and momentum will remain strong. A combination of preferential policies and measures oriented to enterprises set out by the Chinese government is supporting the rapid recovery of the economy while reducing the impact brought by the virus. We believe that as the control and prevention of outbreak continues to improve domestically, the domestic demand for petroleum and petrochemical products that was suppressed and frozen will rebound quickly.
Challenges always arise with opportunities. The Company will continue to adhere to the overall strategy of “making progress while maintaining stability,” and to that end will implement new development philosophies and energy security strategies, as well as further strengthen corporate governance. The Company will also continue to focus on supply-side structural reform. Exercising comprehensive and strict governance over the Party, coupled with the strategy of the Talent Empowering Enterprise Scheme, the Company will continue to leverage its advantages of integration, aiming to realize a development pattern with energy resources as the backbone, clean energy and synthetic materials as two development wings, and new energy, new economies, and new fields as important growth points.
The Company will continue to deepen the reform of its systems and mechanisms, further improve its corporate governance system and enhance governance capabilities. With headquarters acting as the center of restructuring, the Company will further advance reforms of its management system and market-oriented operation mechanism. It will strengthen construction of its systems, improve management, and better mobilize initiatives in every aspect so as to constantly increase the ability to create synergies, raise efficiency and mitigate risks.
The Company will focus on promoting structural adjustment and continuously improving its core competence. In the upstream business, the Company will implement the action plan of vigorously enhancing oil and gas exploration and development, focusing on high-quality exploration and profit-driven production, and further consolidating the oil and gas resource base. In the meantime, the Company will adopt an integrated approach to the clean and efficient use of new energy, renewable energy and coal resources, and promote diversification of the energy mix. As for the refining and marketing business, the Company will closely monitor market demand, optimize the system, promote construction of advanced production capacity, and fully develop the potential of the marketing network and improve the quality of operations. In terms of the chemicals business, the Company will accelerate the supply of high-end synthetic materials, develop a more competitive and advantageous basic chemical product chain and improve marketing services and efficiency, by ways of focusing on technological progress and extending the production chain, etc.Additionally, the Company will accelerate key research on core technologies, enhance the capability of proprietary innovation, speed up low-carbon transformation, and improve the efficiency of energy conversion to reduce carbon emissions, which we expect will give rise to a core competency in green development. In 2020, the planned capital expenditure of the Company amounts to RMB 143.4 billion.
Only with great courage, ambition and momentum can a company strive and thrive. Sinopec Corp. is endowed with a complete industrial chain, and its integrated competitive advantages are clear, especially in the Company’s strong market presence, branding, capital resources, and human talent. I firmly believe that with the concerted efforts of our Board of Directors, management and entire staff, as well as support from our shareholders and the community, Sinopec Corp. will surely develop in distinct ways that are more efficient and of higher quality, which in turn will create greater value for shareholders and the community.