[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysian state energy firm Petronas Wednesday announced a 60 per cent plunge in first-quarter profit due to slumping world oil prices, casting a cloud over the country's economic prospects.
Petronas is the single largest source of Malaysian government revenue and of national export earnings.
The unlisted firm, Malaysia's only Fortune 500 company, posted a RM4.6 billion (S$1.56 billion) net profit for the first quarter compared to RM11.4 billion during the same period last year.
Revenue fell by 26 per cent to 49.1 billion.
The firm said in a statement it expects a continued impact from volatile oil prices and the foreign exchange rate.
In March Petronas announced cuts in capital and operating spending of RM50 billion over the next four years, starting with 15-20 billion this year.
Sinking prices of oil and other commodities have battered Malaysia's growth prospects.
The economy expanded 4.2 per cent year-on-year in January-March, its slowest rate since the global financial crisis.