Neste Oil renewable fuels unit reports €10m Q4 operating loss

05 February 2009 09:31  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Neste Oil’s renewable fuels business reported a comparable operating loss of €10m ($12.8m) in the fourth quarter, down from a profit of €3m during the same period in 2007, the Finnish company said on Thursday.

“This was mainly due to the planned full-scale maintenance shutdown of the Porvoo plant,” Neste Oil added.

Sales for the quarter fell 26% to €20m from €27m.

The renewable fuels division’s full year comparable operating profit was €2m, up from a €13m loss in 2007, mainly due to the first NExBTL biodiesel plant being operational at Porvoo for part of the year.

Higher costs were related to growth projects and R&D.

At group level, Neste Oil reported a fourth quarter comparable operating profit of €103m, up from €84m during the same period last year. For the full year, comparable operating profits fell 3.8% to €602m.

“The oil market witnessed an unprecedented fall in prices in the second half of 2008. This resulted in exceptional inventory losses,” said president and CEO Matti Lievonen.

“Our total refining margin increased significantly in 2008, and is clear evidence that, as a refiner focused on diesel and other middle distillates, we were better-placed than most refiners,” he added.

Lievonen said that going forward, the company would need to focus on reducing costs and improving efficiency to safeguard profits and cash flow.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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