23 January 2013 07:54 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Unipetrol achieved a petrochemical operating profit of koruna (Kc) 432m ($22.5m, €16.9m) in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with an operating loss of Kc3.63bn in the same period of the previous year, on the back of better better margins, the Czech company said on Wednesday.
Petrochemical sales volumes improved 17% year on year to 453,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter, with no major shutdowns interrupting production, but fell 3% against the previous quarter, it added.
“Though petrochemical sales volumes were lower by 3% quarter on quarter, the sales structure improved to products with higher margins, and there was slightly improved demand [for polymers] in the second half of the quarter,” Unipetrol said in a presentation on its latest financial results.
Demand improved given production shutdowns at a number of Unipetrol’s competitors, it noted.
“A significant stabilisation of external market conditions in terms of crude oil prices and corresponding petrochemical feedstock prices was a positive factor for segment margins/profitability, and also market demand, compared to previous quarters,” the company said.
The fourth quarter of 2012 also saw Unipetrol’s combined petrochemical model margin, reflecting the margins on both olefin and polyolefin products, climb 10% against the third quarter to €609/tonne, the company said.
Unipetrol, also a refiner, halved its net loss for the fourth quarter of last year to Kc3.10bn from Kc6.25bn in the fourth quarter of 2011, with revenues up 8% year on year to Kc26.3bn.
The loss was largely caused by Unipetrol writing down the value of fixed assets in its refinery segment by Kc4.4bn.
The decision to write down the value of the assets was made because of the deteriorated external refining environment, the company said.
Unipetrol is 63%-owned by Poland’s oil and petrochemicals group PKN Orlen.
($1 = Kc19.23 / €1 = Kc25.61)
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