KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia's state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) posted a 45 percent year-on-year decline in fourth quarter net profit, as a result of higher operating costs and impairment losses on property, plant and equipment.
Petronas, which finances nearly half of Malaysia's government budget, said its net profit for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2012 fell to 8.722 billion ringgit ($2.81 billion) from 15.85 billion ringgit a year ago.
Petronas' President and Chief Executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas said the firm would pay a dividend of 27 billion ringgit to the government in 2013, versus 28 billion ringgit last year.
Revenue in the quarter slipped marginally, to 76.77 billion ringgit from 78.05 billion ringgit in the fourth quarter of 2011.
$1 = 3.1050 Malaysian ringgits Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah Editing by Daniel Magnowski