Neste’s Q3 operating profits slump on crude dive

24 October 2008 08:36  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Finland’s Neste Oil reported a 76% year-on-year decline in third-quarter operating profits to €44m ($34.3m), having suffered massive inventory losses from plunging crude values, the company said on Friday.


An inventory loss of €180m was incurred due to rapidly falling oil prices, the company added.


Neste’s negative cash flow from operations widened to €175m from €32m in the same period last year due to temporarily high receivables at the quarter’s end, it said.


“The oil market witnessed even higher than normal volatility  and crude oil prices dropped rapidly and significantly after rising for eight months,” said Jarmo Honkamaa, deputy chief executive officer at Neste.


The company’s refining margins, meanwhile, reached a new record of $13.54 /bbl, up 33% from a year earlier, mainly driven by demand for middle distillates and diesel, he said.


“All our diesel production units are operating normally again after maintenance carried out at the Porvoo diesel line in August and September,” Honkamaa said.


Crude prices have fallen from a record high $147/bbl in mid-July to currently stand out well below $100/bbl.


($1 = €0.78)


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By: Pearl Bantillo
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