29 February 2008 11:06 [Source: ICIS news]
PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Unipetrol on Friday posted an operating loss of koruna (Kc) 657m ($39.7m/€26.1m) for the fourth quarter of last year after absorbing the impact of tightening margins and charges related to extensive planned and unplanned shutdowns exacerbated by a fire.
A company spokeswoman said that without the one-off charges the Czech group would have recorded an operating profit of Kc840m.
The group’s full-year operating profit for 2007 came in 28% up at Kc4.8bn, on revenues that fell 5% to koruna 88.8bn.Analysts had widely expected the quarterly operating loss to come in at around half the Kc657m posted but the impact of the outages proved worse than anticipated.
Unipetrol, majority-owned by Poland's PKN Orlen, which also reported its results, said the shutdowns - initially caused by a scheduled upgrade but prolonged by the fire - cost it some Kc1.6bn.
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Revenues for the final quarter of 2007 stood at Kc21.1bn, 3% down on the same period the previous year.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) edged up 3% year on year to Kc227m.
Czech financial group Ceska Sporitelna is maintaining a buy rating on Unipetrol’s stock, arguing that the upgrade shutdown along with a three-year restructuring project has produced new capacity and more efficient operations that should lift profits in the longer term.
($1 = Kc16.53/€1 = Kc25.15)
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