The largest oil and gas company in the region, Petrom (OMV group) boosted its net profit to RON1.21bn (EUR266.5m) in H1 this year from RON405m in the same period a year before, the company announced in a release on the local stock exchange. The profitability improvement was mainly triggered by the favorable developments of the crude prices on the international markets. Hence, the Ural crude price jumped by 36% y/y in the period and Petrom managed to take advantage of the favorable market conditions to improve its operational and financial performance. In addition, the oil products demand rose for all the company’s products, the costs control discipline was maintained, improving the refining margins, the release explained.
Petrom’s sales increased by 25% to almost RON9.3bn in H1, over higher oil prices and increasing volumes sold. Nevertheless, the company’s investments were slashed by 32% y/y to RON913m in the period, mainly due to lower investments in hydrocarbons production and exploration, as the management decided to optimize some drilling operations and to revise several projects. However, Petrom is ready to intensify its investment activity in H2 this year, over improving financial position, the company’s CEO declared.
Petrom is Romania’s second largest company, after car manufacturer Dacia. OMV holds a 51% stake in the company and the state has nearly 21%. Petrom also operates a gas-fired thermo-power plant and has the biggest gas station network in Romania. It has important oil and gas exploration and exploitation projects in the Black Sea in cooperation with ExxonMobil. The company’s profitability and investment plan have significantly deteriorated in the previous years due to unfavorable developments of crude price on international markets. However, Petrom managed to return to profit last year, when it made RON 1.04bn net profit, even if its sales dropped by 10.0% y/y to about RON16.3bn, as the oil prices started to recover.