Czech Unipetrol not ruling out further streamlining

03 September 2012 17:47  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Unipetrol has not ruled out further streamlining of its operations as it seeks to reverse a loss-making run that has lasted for more than a year, the Czech refining and petrochemical company said on Monday.

Meanwhile, the company is planning to publish its 2012–2017 mid-term strategy, a document that has been awaited by the markets since the end of 2011, at the beginning of the coming year, Unipetrol added.

“This year, we have realised some restructuring steps such as the discontinuing of crude oil processing at the [20,000 bbl/day] Paramo refinery and the termination of [200,000 tonnes/year of] urea production, which is planned for the end of this year,” said Martin Pavlicek, Unipetrol's corporate communication director.

Unipetrol is continuously monitoring all opportunities to improve its financial performance regarding both internal operations and opportunities outside the company,” he added, in response to the question of whether more production streamlining could be expected.

The 2012–2017 mid-term strategy had been delayed “due to a very volatile external macro environment [which meant the company had] to adjust internal assumptions regarding future market development”, Pavlicek said.

Prague-based investment bank WOOD & Company concluded in a note to investors that it believed Unipetrol may have to streamline its capacity further in order to achieve break-even operations.

“We have argued for some time that Unipetrol is one of the major trouble spots in [Polish parent group] PKN Orlen's operations and we cannot yet see how management can resolve the problems,” said Robert Rethy, an analyst at the bank.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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