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BUCHAREST (Romania), May 15 (SeeNews) - Romanian oil refiner Rompetrol Rafinare [BSE:RRC] posted a $14.04 (12.5 million euro) net loss in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a $3.77 net loss in the like period of last year, it said.
The consolidated preliminary financial results in the first quarter were affected by the high volatility of the oil and gas market, which led to significant pressure on gross refining margins - to $35.1 per tonne from $44.5 per tonne in the first quarter of 2018, as well as by the price pressure on the natural gas and electricity markets, the company said in a statement late on Tuesday.
Rompetrol Rafinare's consolidated operating result (EBITDA) fell by 50% on the year to close to $17.16 million in the first three months of 2019.
Gross turnover fell by 6% to $1.13 billion due to higher prices of petroleum products.
At the same time, the inflation rate in Romania, rising by more than 50%, as well as the depreciation of the Romanian currency against the US dollar by 4% in comparison with the December parity led to an economic context that affects the overall financial result, the company explained.
"Financial results are determined 100% by factors we cannot control but we are firmly convinced that by the end of the year we will see improvements in the international market," the company's general manager, Yedil Utekov, said.
Rompetrol Rafinare said it had very good operational performance in the first three months of the year at its two refineries – Petromidia Navodari and Vega Ploiesti. During the period, over 1.5 million tons of raw materials were processed at Petromidia, the largest refinery in Romania and one of the most modern in Southeast Europe, a level similar to that of the first quarter of last year.
Rompetrol Rafinare has approved an investment budget of over $63 milion for 2019, of which over $50 million will be used for upgrading, maintenance and compliance within the Petromidia installations.
Rompetrol Rafinare swung to a consolidated net loss of $23 million in 2018, from a $21 million profit in the previous year.
Rompetrol Rafinare is the core asset of Dutch-based KMG International, formerly The Rompetrol Group, which is fully owned by Kazakhstan's state-owned energy company KazMunaiGaz Group. Through its two oil refineries, Rompetrol Rafinare provides over 40% of Romania's refining capacity and is the only producer of polymers in the country.
Rompetrol Rafinare shares traded 4.12% lower at 0.465 lei as at 0904 CET on the Bucharest Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
($ = 0.8898 euro)