Unipetrol's Q1 petchem result swings to $12.5m loss

25 April 2012 09:57  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Unipetrol’s petrochemical operating result swung to a loss of koruna (Kc) 236m ($12.5m, €9.5m) in the first quarter of this year, compared with a profit of Kc385m a year ago, as record-high naphtha feedstock prices drove down margins, the Czech producer said on Wednesday.

“The all-time high prices of naphtha feedstock – the quarterly average price increased by 20% quarter on quarter and 17% year on year to €772/tonne in Q1 2012 – resulted in absolute record prices of final petrochemical products, which somewhat hindered market demand,” Unipetrol said.

First-quarter petrochemical sales volumes edged down by 2% year on year to 440,000 tonnes, mainly due to a 6% decline in monomers and an 11% fall in agro-products, it added. Polymers sales volumes were up by 6%.

Unipetrol’s first-quarter model polyolefin margin fell by 15% year on year, but rose by 12% quarter on quarter, to €240/tonne. Its model olefin margin for the quarter decreased by 21% year on year, but gained 5% quarter on quarter, to €274/tonne.

The company added that its combined model petrochemical margin was down by 18% year on year to €514/tonne, but that “it seems to be bottoming out from the values reached in Q4 2011”.

Unipetrol, also a refiner, saw an overall first-quarter net loss of Kc361m, against a net profit of Kc464m for the same quarter of 2011.

Sales revenues rose to Kc25.4bn from Kc23.1bn a year ago.

Unipetrol is 63% owned by Poland’s PKN Orlen, which reported its own first-quarter financial results earlier on Wednesday.

($1 = Kc18.91, €1 = Kc24.93)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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