US Chevron’s Q4 downstream business earnings swing to net loss

27 January 2012 14:52  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Chevron’s earnings from its downstream business in the fourth quarter of 2011 swung to a year-on-year net loss of $61m from $742m, partly because of weaker margins on refined product sales in the US, the energy and petrochemicals firm said on Friday.

US downstream operations made a loss of $204m in the fourth quarter, compared with earnings of $475m (€361m) in 2010, primarily reflecting “the absence of a $400m gain on the sale of the company’s ownership interest in the Colonial Pipeline Company recognised in the fourth quarter [of] 2010”.

Chevron’s international downstream operations made earnings of $143m in the fourth quarter of 2011, a fall from $267m earned in the same period of the previous year.

“The decline was primarily due to weaker margins. Foreign currency effects decreased earnings by $81m in the 2011 quarter, compared with a decrease of $52m a year earlier,” the company said.

For the whole of 2011, Chevron’s downstream business made earnings of $3.59bn, up 45% year on year, as the company streamlined its asset portfolio with the completion of the sale of refining and marketing assets in the UK and Ireland.

Overall, the US-based energy major reported fourth-quarter earnings of $5.12bn, down 3.4% from $5.30bn in the 2010 fourth quarter.

Sales and other operating revenues in the fourth quarter 2011 were $58bn, up from $52bn in the year-earlier period, mainly because of higher prices for crude oil and refined products, Chevron said.

The company’s full-year 2011 earnings were $26.90bn, up 41% from $19.02bn earned in 2010.

“Chevron had an outstanding year financially,” said chairman and CEO John Watson. “This reflects our exceptionally strong upstream portfolio, as well as higher 2011 crude prices. Full-year earnings also benefited from improved downstream sales margins.”

($1 = €0.76)

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy blog

By: Franco Capaldo
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