13 February 2009 10:03 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Eni’s petrochemical division Polimeri Europa reported a net loss of €89m ($114m) in the fourth quarter, up from a net loss of €91m during the same period in 2007, but operating results slumped, the Italian oil company said on Friday.
The division reported an operating loss of €472m in the fourth quarter compared with a €142m loss a year earlier. Net sales dropped 38.4% to €1.04bn.
“This shortfall was due to a steep decline in commodity chemical margins, reflecting higher supply costs of oil-based feedstock and end-markets lower demand,” Eni said.
Production of petrochemical products fell to 1,351,000 tonnes from 2,183,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Sales of basic petrochemicals nearly halved to 411,000 tonnes from 776,000 tonnes. Styrene and elastomer sales fell 11.8% to 216,000 tonnes, while sales of polyethylene (PE) dropped 23.3% to 250,000 tonnes from 326,000 tonnes in quarter four 2007.
For the full year, the petrochemicals division reported an adjusted net loss of €306m compared with a net profit of €57m in 2007. It recorded an adjusted operating net loss of €375m, down from profits of €90m the previous year. Net sales dropped 9.1% to €6.30bn.
At group level, Eni’s adjusted net profits fell 27.4% in the fourth quarter to €2.06bn, while net sales fell 3% to €24.61bn.
Operating profits dropped to €4.08bn from €5.29bn in the same period in 2007 due to the weaker operating performance reported by the exploration and production and gas and power divisions due to falling oil prices and lower natural gas demand, the company said.
Eni said it expected market volatility and the current economic downturn to continue well into 2009, and added that its key assumptions for this year were average Brent prices at $43 per barrel, flat European gas demand and lower refining margins compared with 2008.
($1 = €0.78)
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