KARACHI - The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) on Friday declared a cash dividend of Rs 3 per share to its shareholders for the 1st quarter ended Sept 30, 2009. The announcement came following the BoM review of the 1Q FY10 performance of the countrys largest oil marketing entity. Sardar Yasin Malik, BoM Chairman, presided over the meeting. The Board observed that the Company has started FY10 on a positive note after going through a lean patch during FY09. The first half of FY09 saw a significant decline in the Companys profitability mainly on account of a free fall in the international oil prices resulting in inventory losses to the Company. In contrast, the first quarter of FY10 saw oil prices moving across a narrower band ranging between $60/bbl to $73/bbl. The Companys sales revenue touched Rs 201 billion compared to Rs 222 billion in the corresponding period last year, the decline being mainly due to a reduction in retail prices of POL products across the country. The Company was able to post improved quarterly after tax earnings of Rs 1.9 billion as compared to a loss of Rs. 8.4 billion during the same period last year. Here it is worth mentioning that on account of circular debt, the Company had to borrow from banks thereby incurring financial charges of Rs 1.6 billion which dented the Companys profitability during the period under review. During the first quarter of FY10, PSOs management made persistent efforts for recovering its receivables in the circular debt which crossed Rs 100 billion during the reported period. As a result of all these efforts at the highest possible level, Power Holding (Pvt) Limited, an entity of Government of Pakistan, issued Term Finance Certificates on September 18, 2009 amounting to Rs 82.4 billion out of which PSO received Rs 41.3 billion thereby allowing the Company to make partial payments to refineries and retire LC payments against oil imports. Due to increase in supply of furnace oil to the power sector and delayed payments from them, the receivables are again growing on a daily basis. In the period under review, the Company posted a growth of 30.4% in the Black Oil segment against the backdrop of increasing demand of furnace oil by the power sector which was fulfilled by PSO. In addition, a positive volumetric growth of 26.5% and 3.8% was registered in Mogas and JP1 respectively. However, in HSD, the Company experienced negative growth of 13.5% as industry figures also show a downward trend during the reported period. PSO maintained its leadership in the White and Black Oil market segments with market shares of 55.3% and 89.4% respectively. Overall, the market share for the Company stood at 72.1% at the end of the quarter.