dear shareholders and friends:
on behalf of the board of directors, the management and all the staff of sinopec corp.,i would like to express my sincere gratitude to our shareholders and the wider community for your interest and support.
in 2016, as a result of low oil prices, the company faced a challenging and complex operating environment. given those conditions, on one hand, in light of the government’s new thinking about the country’s development, the company took a visionary approach to the future. guided by our strategies of valueoriented growth, innovation-driven development, integrated resource allocation, openness to cooperation, and green, low-carbon development, we formulated our 13th five-year plan and has been continuously creating new and sustainable competitive advantages. on the other hand, in view of the difficulties that low oil prices created for our upstream operations, along with slower growth in downstream demand and structural changes in the external environment, we intensified our reform initiatives and implemented stricter controls over our investment plans in tandem with a series of major reforms on the supply side. over the past year, our focus on transformation of growth mode and structural adjustments allowed us to improve the quality and efficiency of our assets as well as upgrade our operations. under the management’s leadership, the entire staff united to advance these goals. we achieved significant improvement in our operating results through unrelenting joint efforts to explore new markets, optimise our operations, reduce costs and improve risk management. together, these achievements represented an exceptional start to our 13th five-year plan.
in 2016, in accordance with the ifrs, the company recorded a turnover and other operating revenue of rmb 1,930.9 billion. profit before taxation was rmb80.2 billion, represented a 42.1% increase year on year, of which profit attributable to owners of the company amounted to rmb46.7 billion, represented a 43.6% increase year on year. taking into account the company’s profitability, shareholders return and the need for future development, the board of directors proposed a final dividend of rmb 0.17 per share, which, combined with the interim dividend of rmb 0.079 per share, brought the full-year dividend to rmb 0.249 per share. the dividend payout ratio reaches 64.6%.
over the past year, in its efforts to implement supply-side structural reform, the company benefited from its integrated value chain, which allows our businesses to complement each other well. as we increased the effective supply of petroleum and petrochemical products and related services to the community, we reaped economic benefits and improved our asset utilisation. to cope with harsh conditions in the upstream sector, we strengthened measures to rein in costs and address our weaknesses. at the same time, we gave priority to highefficiency exploration activities and made a number of important new discoveries. in line with our emphasis on profitability, we made continuous improvements in our oil production and trimmed production of high-cost oilfields, thereby effectively controlling our production costs. the company also continuously improves its energy structure by increasing production of shale gas. as a result, domestic gas production for the year reached 21.6 billion cubic meters, while we further developed fuling shale gas field, china’s first large-scale shale gas project, to an annual capacity of 7 billion cubic meters. our energy structure improved steadily as our gas supply in the yangtze river economic belt and the beijing-tianjin-hebei region continued to grow. in downstream operations, the company achieved robust results by taking advantage of market opportunities to expand the effective supply of mid-range and highend products. we optimised the structure of our refinery products according to market demand and vigorously promoted applications of new technologies, leading to a lower dieselto-gasoline ratio. moreover, we pressed ahead with upgrading of our oil product specification to ensure implementation of gb v standards for automobile gasoline and diesel fuels and the gb vi standards for beijing. at the same time, we eliminated obsolete and low-efficiency production facilities. in the chemical business, we adhered to development of basic and high-end chemicals. we further increased the proportion of high end products from three major synthetic materials. as we enhanced our efforts in new product development, we pressed ahead with integration of production, sales, research and consumption, striving to offer comprehensive solutions to customers. meanwhile, we continuously adapted our marketing initiatives to reflect the latest market trends. with our superior network, we delivered more environmentally friendly premium gasoline products to the market. in addition, we complemented our marketing activities by growing our emerging businesses. we continuously expanded our business types and product varieties in an aim to provide onestop service to our customers. transaction value of our emerging business surged by 41%. these results mark an important milestone for us in our development as an comprehensive service provider.
in 2016, the company further enhanced cooperation with our business partners. in our overseas operations, we were actively involved in expanding projects across the belt and road region and we continued to make progress in developing a number of major projects, such as the yanbu refinery in saudi arabia, which commenced operations during the year. in our domestic businesses, the company further strengthened its mixed-ownership operations and partnered with 14 provinces and cities in china to drive the development of our natural gas business. we brought in new investors to sichuan-to-east china pipeline co., raising rmb 22.8 billion. meanwhile, sinopec marketing co. ltd.’s shareholding reform progressed smoothly. while we have continued developing our refining and chemical production bases and shifting our focus towards mid-range and high-end products, we increased our efforts to find additional opportunities for cooperation in various sectors with the aim of enabling all participants to enjoy the benefits of shared development.
in 2016, the company continued to improve its management and operating efficiency. we diligently promoted a corporate culture of rigorousness, meticulousness and pragmatism, thus ensuring that we conducted our operations in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. at the same time, we integrated our internal control and risk management systems and further improved our controls on investment and financial management. we also increased our efforts to promote information-based, intelligent operations throughout the company and to develop our data sharing platform. as a result, we achieved effective control over our expenses and kept inventories at reasonable levels. moreover, we enjoyed abundant free cash flow and maintained the ratio of liabilities to assets at a low level.
over the past year, the company actively fulfilled its social responsibilities and firmly established itself as a good corporate citizen. we advanced our green, low-carbon development initiatives as we delivered more environmentally friendly products. we also successfully concluded our clear water, blue sky environmental campaign, achieving further declines in the emissions of major pollutants. we stressed the importance of biodiversity and strove to minimise the environmental impact of our operations. meanwhile, we continued to open up the company to public scrutiny. as a people-oriented enterprise, we reinforced workplace safety for our employees and secured their legitimate rights and interests. in 2016, we earmarked a total of rmb 6.584 billion to promote social, educational, medical and healthcare development in the areas where we have operations. in addition, we stepped up targeted measures to combat poverty, reduce privation in impoverished areas in qinghai and tibet, with total donations amounted to rmb 133 million to help local residents achieve sustainable development.
looking ahead to 2017, we expect the global political and economic landscape to become more complex, with international oil prices hovering at low levels. meanwhile, we believe that more positive trends will emerge in china’s economy, driving faster growth in domestic demand for petroleum and petrochemical products. the company will adhere to its development strategies of value-oriented growth, innovation-driven development, integrated resource allocation, openness to cooperation, and green, low-carbon development. in accordance with our objective of progressing at a steady pace, we will strive to achieve safety and environmental friendly goals, stable production and operations, and steady improvements in operating results. on top of that, we will actively pursue market opportunities and further deepen supply-side structural reform. while redoubling efforts to implement structural adjustments, we will promote technological innovations and prudently implement mixed-ownership reforms. in addition, we will explore ways to create a new business model that will capitalise on our finance business to support development of core physical operations. these measures will help us rejuvenate our operations, enhance our operating efficiency and augment the profitability of our assets. we will take advantage of opportunities that arise from the government’s support policies, including reforms in the oil and gas sector and in state-owned enterprises as well as the belt and road initiative, to enhance the quality and profitability of our business.
in 2017, under the company’s 13th five-year plan, our planned capital expenditures will be rmb 110.2 billion. we will strive to increase our upstream reserves and resource base. we will also expand natural gas, especially shale gas, businesses to promote gas consumption in the yangtze river economic belt. in the refining and chemical businesses, we will build four worldclass refining bases, in mao zhan, zhenhai, shanghai and nanjing. we will promote further upgrades in oil products and improve our capability to deliver high-end, high-value-added products. at the same time, we will give full play of our advantages in the marketing network and brand name to supply the market with cleaner oil products and reinforce our efforts to tap potentials in our emerging businesses and transform into an comprehensive services provider. through the implementation of energy efficiency doubling plan and green enterprises action plan, we will endeavor to become the leading green, low-carbon operators in the industry.
the board of directors and i believe that through the joint efforts of the board, the management and all the staff, coupled with the support of our shareholders and the wider community, sinopec corp. will continue to make progress in its various businesses, growing stronger and bigger and delivering greater value to our shareholders and our society.
24 march 2017