US Sunoco sees $660m Q4 loss on move from refining business

02 February 2012 23:19  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Sunoco swung to a fourth-quarter pre-tax net loss of $660m from $119m in earnings in the same prior-year quarter, mostly from pre-tax charges related to the company's moves to get out of the refining business, the US-based refiner said on Thursday.

In September the company announced plans to sell its Marcus Hook and Philadelphia refineries in Pennsylvania, with plans to idle both if they were not sold by the summer.

Then on 1 December 2011, Sunoco idled its Marcus Hook refinery because of poor economics.

As a result of this and other special items, the company had a pre-tax charge of $612m (€465m).

Additionally, Sunoco’s refining and supply segment recorded a pre-tax loss of $117m in the fourth quarter compared with a $17m loss in the same period of 2010.

“The decrease ... was primarily the result of lower realised margins and production volumes,” the company said. “Margins deteriorated throughout the fourth quarter during which market margins for gasoline were frequently negative.”

The company’s logistics segment earned $66m for the fourth quarter, up from $35m in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The increase was mostly because of higher crude oil sales volumes and margins, the company said.

Sunoco’s retail marketing segment also posted a positive pre-tax earnings for the fourth quarter at $40m compared with $1m in the same period of 2010.

Higher retail gasoline and distillate margins were the primary reason for the increase, Sunoco said.

For the year, Sunoco swung to a loss of $2.85bn compared with net income of $252m in 2010.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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