Serb energy firm NIS, controlled by Russia’s Gazprom Neft, said its first-quarter net profit slipped 1% y/y to RSD 8.3bn (EUR 75mn) although Jan-Mar sales rose 6% to RSD 48.6bn. The company’s Q1 EBITDA plunged 22% to RSD 12.1bn.
The volume of overall oil products sales climbed 12% y/y to 565,700 tonnes in Jan-Mar. The domestic oil and gas production rose 5% to 410,700 tonnes of oil equivalent thanks to the implementation of additional geological and technical activities. The oil refining volume jumped 27% to 522,500 tonnes.
First-quarter investments rose by 60% y/y to RSD 12.2bn and went mainly into drilling development, investment in concession rights in Hungary and Romania and geological exploration in the Vojvodina area.
NIS’ investment directions in full 2013 include projects designed to raise the refining process efficiency, as well as the modernisation of the Pancevo oil refinery, the construction of base oils production facilities at the Novi Sad refinery and the development of the sales and distribution sector, among others. It will as well continue the upgrade of petrochemicals producer HIP Petrohemija in cooperation with the Serb government.
NIS said it also plans to put more than a hundred filling stations into operation as part of its strategy to expand its Balkan region network. The Gazprom and NIS Petrol brands will operate filling stations in Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Romania. In March it received an official approval to acquire OMV’s 28 filling stations in Bosnia.
Furthermore, the Pannonian basin in Serbia, Bosnia, Hungary and Romania remains the main area for future development where the company will implement a high resolution 3D seismic survey and deep dynamic seismic interpretation, as well as new Slim Hole drilling methods.
NIS’ long-term debt rose 15% through the first quarter due to an Erste Bank loan of RSD 5.68bn. Short-term financial liabilities, on the other hand, fell 26% over the period following the repayment of a RSD 1.4bn UniCredit loan and a RSD 1bn credit to Vojvodjanska Banka.
NIS’ net profit rose 22% to RSD 49.5bn (EUR 447mn) last year and the company plans to distribute 25% of it as dividend.
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