Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC said Sunday its net profit rose 5.7 percent in the last quarter of 2013, compared with the same period the year before, on the back of lower costs. SABIC said its net profit reached $1.645 billion in the last three months of last year. "The increase in net income is due to lower cost of sales and financial charges," the company said in a statement to the Saudi stock market. SABIC, the Saudi Basic Industries Corp., is the largest publicly traded firm in the Gulf and one of the world's major petrochemicals groups. The quarterly net profit was however down 4.8 percent in comparison with the previous quarter, due to "lower production and sales volumes". For the whole year, SABIC's net profit was up 1.82 percent in 2013. The group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chemicals, fertilisers, plastics and metals.