Colombia Ecopetrol’s profits down in 2012 on higher costs

19 February 2013 23:34  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Ecopetrol's consolidated net income in 2012 fell by 4.4% compared to the previous year amid higher operational costs, Colombia’s state-owned energy company said on Tuesday.

Net income for the year fell to Colombian pesos (Ps) 14,779bn ($8.3m, €6.2m) from Ps15,452bn in 2011, the company said. Income in the fourth quarter fell by 18.4% year on year to Ps3,621bn.

Consolidated sales revenues in 2012 stood at Ps68,852bn, up by 4.4% from Ps65,967bn in 2011, while exports also increased by 5.6%, Ecopetrol said.

However, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were Ps29,274bn, down by 3.2% from Ps30,236bn recorded for the previous year.

“2012 was a very challenging year for Ecopetrol,” said Ecopetrol’s CEO Javier Gutierrez. “Various environmental and operational circumstances had to be confronted to achieve growth and positive results for our shareholders.”

Ecopetrol produced an average of 754,000 bbl/day of oil equivalent in 2012, an increase of 4.1% compared to 2011. This fell short of the company’s 2012 production target of 780,000 bbl/day.

In downstream operations, the utilisation rate at the company’s Barrancabermeja refinery in the fourth quarter rose to 79.2%, mainly due to the operational availability of crude processing units, the company said.

Barrancabermeja is the country's largest refinery.

The expansion and modernisation of the Cartagena refinery had advanced 74% by the end of December, according to Ecopetrol. Work was expected to be completed during the first half of 2014.

Meanwhile, Ecopetrol subsidiary and polypropylene (PP) producer Propilco posted annual net profits of Ps52.6bn, up by 65% compared to the previous year.

Ecopetrol said its subsidiary’s PP sales volumes totalled 406,800 tonnes in 2012, up by about 8% from 376,707 tonnes in 2011.

($1 = Ps1,791.3; $1 = €0.75) 

By: Simon West

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