LONDON (ICIS)--Romanian chemical producer Oltchim reduced its net loss to Romanian new lei (RON) 56.2m (€12.7m) in the first quarter of 2014, compared with RON 85.9m a year ago, after cutting running costs, the company said on Wednesday.
Oltchim, which remains in insolvency proceedings while awaiting the completion of an attempt at privatising its key assets, recorded Q1 net turnover of RON 136.3m, up from RON 82.8m in the first three months of 2013.
An improvement in the utilisation rate of production capacities – 23.6% against 11.17% a year ago – was credited by Oltchim with boosting turnover.
Some reduced profitability in the first quarter was attributed by the company to changes in the international pricing of caustic soda.
The Romanian government provided potential bidders with a new mid-May deadline in the delayed privatisation of “Oltchim II”, a special purpose vehicle that includes Oltchim's vital assets but not its substantial debts of €811m.
The economic ministry said a statement on the outcome of the bidding was imminent.
Oltchim’s main products include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyols, dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and caustic soda, but the company has said that a lack of feedstock and working capital has meant production has remained very limited for more than two years.
(€1 = RON4.44)