Hungary's MOL Q3 petchem ops incur loss on shrinking margins

15 November 2011 02:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Hungarian group MOL's petrochemical division posted a third-quarter operating loss of forint (Ft) 6bn ($26m, €19m) from an operating profit of Ft6.1bn a year ago on shrinking margins, the oil and gas company said on Tuesday.

“The integrated petrochemical margin decreased considerably, by 39% from €348/tonne to €213/tonne, as polymer prices did not follow the increasing raw material quotations [in the third quarter],” MOL said in a commentary on the division's performance.

“In Q3 2011, the demand for polymer products decreased, compared to the previous quarter due to the recession fears in connection with the foreign currency crisis of the eurozone,” it said.

“Polymer processing companies are holding up their purchases, therefore we do not expect… any increase in orders in [October],” it added.

The company’s third-quarter petrochemical sales volumes amounted to 367,000 tonnes, compared with 378,000 tonnes a year ago and 385,000 tonnes in the previous quarter, MOL said.

Its olefin sales volumes rose by 17% year on year to 83,000 tonnes, but fell by 6% from 88,000 tonnes in the second quarter.

Its polymer sales volumes fell by 7% year on year to 284,000 tonnes, and decreased by 4% from 297,000 tonnes in the previous quarter.

Overall, MOL’s net profit fell by 60% year on year to Ft36.4bn, with sales revenues up by 16% to Ft1,378bn.

High oil prices and weak refinery margins were big factors affecting the fall in profitability, MOL said.

($1 = €0.73)
($1 = Ft232.00)
(€1 = Ft316.14)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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