Czech Unipetrol records Kc295m petchem operating profit in Q3

25 October 2012 10:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Unipetrol’s Q3 petrochemical operating results swung to a profit of koruna (Kc) 295m ($15m) from a loss of Kc270m in the same period a year ago, mainly due to inventory revaluations, the Czech company said on Thursday.

Petrochemical sales volumes for the quarter stood at 466,000 tonnes, compared to 387,000 tonnes a year ago and 411,000 tonnes in the second quarter of this year, with the improvement mainly due to reliable production following a turnaround at Unipetrol’s Litvinov plants and customer restocking.

Polyethylene sales were a key driver of quarter on quarter positive dynamics,” Unipetrol said, noting that its model polyolefin margin was €251/tonne ($326/tonne) in the third quarters of both this year and 2011, compared to €217/tonne in the second quarter of 2012.

Unipetrol’s petrochemical business remained under clear margin pressure in the third quarter, according to analysis of the latest financial results from Prague-based investment bank WOOD & Company.

“The rebound in earnings illustrates Unipetrol's very high operating leverage and how it may react to swings in the [macroeconomic environment],” said Robert Rethy, an analyst at the bank.

“Its underlying profitability is still not reassuring, and there is a risk that refining will sink back to losses with a normalising macro,” he added.

Overall, Unipetrol saw a third quarter net profit of Kc645m, compared to a net loss of Kc128m a year ago, with the company attributing much of the improvement to the best refining margins since 2008.

Sales revenues rose by 17.8% year on year and 4.8% quarter on quarter to Kc28.4bn.

Unipetrol is 63%-owned by Polish oil and petrochemical group PKN Orlen, which reported its third quarter results earlier on Thursday.

($1 = Kc19.27)
($1 = €0.77)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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