Net profit at H share Jilin Chemical Industrial Co (JCIC) fell almost 68 per cent to 99.79 million yuan (about HK$92.89 million) last year, hurt by rising crude costs and falling product prices. The figure was diluted by the second half, as its first-half profit amounted to 103.35 million yuan. Full-year sales rose 12.4 per cent to 8.63 billion yuan, with operating profit plunging 57 per cent to 210.93 million yuan. Earnings per share were 0.03 yuan. A final dividend of 0.026 yuan was proposed. JCIC suffered from the twin traumas of excessive interest and depreciation costs related to its ethylene project. An increase in crude oil cost and fall in prices of certain products added to problems. Sales of petrochemical, organic chemical and synthetic-rubber products grew 104.9 per cent and 10.9 per cent, while the figures for chemical fertilisers, petroleum products and other dye products fell as much as 32.2 per cent last year. The company processed 4.01 million tonnes of crude oil, up 16 per cent from the previous year. Chairman Jiao Haikun said that despite Beijing's measures to improve the macro-environment this year, the company would 'still face some adversity'. Mr Jiao expected the firm would process 4.5 million tonnes of crude oil this year. As the company would use more class-two crude oil, there would be an increase in the overall weighted average price of crude to 1,165 yuan a tonne. The company would try to finalise the issue of an additional 300 million A shares, he said. Eight of the ethylene project facilities started commercial operation last year, and the remaining three were expected to come on stream in the first half of this year. JCIC owns four units of the project, with its parent - Jilin Chemical Group - holding the remaining seven units. It has an option to acquire the units before 2002.