Colombia Ecopetrol Q4 net income drops 33% on higher expenses

26 February 2014 05:14  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Colombian state-run energy and polyethylene (PE) producer Ecopetrol reported on Tuesday a fourth quarter consolidated net income of Colombian pesos (Ps) 2,427bn, down by about 33% from Ps3,621bn in the prior-year quarter due to higher operating expenses.

Consolidated quarterly sales revenues inched up 1.1% year over year to Ps17,960bn from Ps17,758bn, while gross profit increased by 2.8% to Ps6,942bn, Ecopetrol said.

However, the company’s operating expenses – which included increased expenditure on pension commutation – soared by about 91% to Ps2,732bn, the company said.

For all of 2013, consolidated sales rose by 2.3% to Ps70,428bn, boosted by record average production levels of 788,200 bbl/day of oil equivalent, while net income fell by about 11% to Ps13,107bn due to an increase in the cost of sales.

In downstream operations, the utilisation rate at the 250,000 bbl/day Barrancabermeja refinery fell in the fourth quarter to 74% due to scheduled maintenance on the refinery’s U-250 crude unit. The unit’s operations resumed on 29 November, Ecopetrol said.

The utilisation rate at the Cartagena refinery (Reficar) fell to just 33.8% due to the shutdown of the cracking and viscosity reduction units as part of the modernisation project currently underway at the facility.

The project, which aims to boost capacity from 80,000 bbl/day to 165,000 bbl/day, was 85.7% complete at the end of the quarter, the company said.

Meanwhile, Ecopetrol’s subsidiary and polypropylene (PP) producer Propilco posted a fourth quarter net income of Ps14.6bn, up by 3.5% from Ps14.1bn a year ago.

Propilco’s PP sales volumes in the period reached 94,388 tonnes in the fourth quarter, and 396,567 tonnes for the whole of 2013.

By: Simon West

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