Czech Unipetrol swings to Q2 petchems operating profit of Kc33m

23 July 2013 11:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Unipetrol swung to a second-quarter petrochemical operating profit of koruna (Kc) 33m ($1.7m, €1.3m) from an operating loss of Kc110m in the same period last year on solid and stable margins, the Czech producer said on Tuesday.

Petrochemical sales volumes were, however, hit by the closure of the company's urea unit and lower olefin sales due to an unplanned shutdown of the company's Kralupy refinery. They fell to 389,000 tonnes, compared to 411,000 tonnes in the second quarter of 2012, with ethylene sales volumes falling to 30,000 tonnes from 36,000 tonnes, Unipetrol said.

In a presentation of its latest financial results Unipetrol noted that its petrochemical division was again the company's key profit maker driven by a continuation of solid petrochemical margins and higher sales volumes of high-margin polymers.

“The local Czech and also the international European macro environment continue to be unsupportive for us [but nevertheless the] petrochemical segment has recorded good profitability in the second quarter,” said Unipetrol CEO Marek Switajewski.

Second-quarter petrochemical earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) almost doubled to Kc407m from Kc211m a year ago, Unipetrol said.

The improved figure came despite the write-off of the remaining book value of a closed power plant at the company's Litvinov refining and petrochemical complex, in the northern Czech Republic, that hit EBITDA by Kc107m.

Unipetrol's model polyolefin margin in the second quarter was €240/tonne, against €217/tonne in the same period of 2012. The company's model olefin margin edged down to €391/tonne from €400/tonne.

The net result for the second quarter at Unipetrol, also a refiner and fuel retailer, was a loss of Kc429m, against a loss of Kc599m in the year ago period, with sales revenues falling 9% year on year to Kc24.7bn.

Unipetrol is 63%-owned by Poland's PKN Orlen oil and petrochemicals group, which reported its own second-quarter results earlier on Tuesday.

($1 = Kc19.66 / €1 = Kc25.92)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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