Bloomberg News

Petrol Group Says 9-Month Profit Rose on Oil Products Sale

November 17, 2011

(Updates with closing shares in seventh paragraph.)

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Petrol Group d.d., Slovenia’s largest energy company, said nine-month profit gained 2 percent on increased sales of oil products.

Net income rose to 36.2 million euros ($48.7 million) from 34.8 million euros in the same period a year earlier, the Ljubljana-based company said in a statement to the city stock exchange. Revenue advanced 16 percent to 2.4 billion euros. The earnings exclude possible asset writedowns that will be included in full-year results, it said.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization “was quite strong while net income was disappointing due to a loss from derivatives and currency swings,” Radivoj Pregelj, an analyst at lender Abanka Vipa d.d. said in an e-mail. “If they keep currency swings and derivatives under control next year, Petrol could do well, despite the recession.”

Slovenia’s biggest public company by revenue, which focuses its business in the Balkans, plans to increase the number of filling stations in Croatia to 100 as the former Yugoslav republic prepares for European Union entry in 2013. Petrol said earnings were affected by late payments and bankruptcies, especially in the Slovenian construction industry.

Petrol said it sold 1.7 million tons of oil products in the period, a 2 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.

Recession Risk

Slovenia’s export-driven economy may be heading for recession as demand in Europe weakens because of the debt crisis after growth slowed to annual 0.9 percent in the second quarter from a 2.3 percent pace in the previous one.

Petrol rose for a fourth consecutive session to the highest in two weeks. The stock advanced 3.10 euros, or 2 percent, to close at 162.10 euros in Ljubljana today. Shares have lost 40 percent of their value this year compared with 26 percent drop of the benchmark SBITOP index in the same period.

--Editors: James M. Gomez, Alan Crosby

To contact the reporter on this story: Boris Cerni in Ljubljana at bcerni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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