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UPDATE 1-SABIC beats forecasts with $1.3 bln first-quarter net profit

(Adds detail, outlook)

DUBAI, April 29 (Reuters) - Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) on Thursday reported first-quarter net profit of 4.86 billion riyals ($1.30 billion), rebounding from a loss in the same period a year earlier on the back of higher average prices.

The petrochemicals group cited improved margins, driven by higher product and oil prices, and healthy demand, while supply for its key products remained tight.

SABIC said the level of margins seen in the first quarter was expected to continue during the second quarter of 2021.

The company had reported a net loss of 1.05 billion riyals for quarter that ended on March 31, 2020 when earnings were hit by impairment charges on assets. The first quarter 2021 profit was above an average forecast of 3.68 billion riyals, based on five analysts in Refinitiv Eikon.

First-quarter revenue surged 24% from a year earlier.

SABIC said it is focused on generating maximum value from synergies with Saudi Aramco, which last year completed a deal to buy 70% of the petrochemicals company.

Between the deal closure in June 2020 until the end of first quarter, SABIC achieved a synergy value of $156 million.

It is targeting $1.5 billion to $1.8 Billion of recurring annual value creation and synergy by 2025.

SABIC said sales and marketing rights of approximately 5.4 million metric tonnes of chemicals and polymer products will be transferred from Saudi Aramco to SABIC.

$1 = 3.7507 riyals Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Edmund Blair and Jane Merriman

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